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THE GIFT OF HIS DAUGHTER
Piney Ridge Cottage
U s '^^-7^6, r,i ^
By NEPHI ANDERSON
"Monnonism" has been a distinct influence
in the world now for exactly eighty-two years.
During this time it has become a great and nota-
ble institution ; formed a people, unique in many
respects ; given direction to tens of thousands of
minds ; shaped destinies ; created an atmosphere,
an environment, the like of which you can find
nowhere else; has impressed on its adherents,
consciously or unconsciously, a philosophy of
life, an outlook on the world.
Here then is the raw material for a literature
absolutely unique. Here is a means of untold
wealth, awaiting the discovering genius and the
transforming touch of modem labor and mach-
inery. It surpasses in literary opportimity
that which made fame for the authors of the
Luck of Roaring Camp," the **Octopus," the
Virginian," the "Gentleman from Indiana,"
the Winning of Barbara Worth," **A Certa^in
Rich Man," the "New England Nun," and scores
of other works of fiction which have their setting
in this or that part of the country, and which
depict characters and scenes peculiar to a given
locality. We may go even further than this.
We have that in our community life and religion
which ought to produce literature with the uni-
But there are two things that hinder the
development of pure literature among us. The
first is the hesitancy with which many of our
people take up fiction and poetry. We are a
sober, an earnest, almost a puritan people, and
it is hard for us to exercise patience with that
which is not facU and we forget that artistic
truth may be really higher than a mere fact.
And then, too, if a story like this of Mr. Ander-
son's, be m local color, its reading public is bound
to be comparatively small, even if most **Mor-
mon" families buy it. No writer among us today
therefore, can live wholly by his pen. And until
our writers can live wholly by their pen, devot-
ing all their mind and heart and leisure to creat-
ive work, we cannot expect to see them do the
best of which they are capable in literature.
I plead, therefore, for more encouragement
of our nome writers. If we are to have anything
substantial and permanent in our literature, we
must do it ourselves. For although outsiders are
beginning now to use this raw material of ours,
stffl they cannot do anything of real and lasting
value, no matter how much art they put into
their work, because they are outsiders, lacking
the sympathetic insight with what they try to
depict— which is indispensable to high creative
Let us be loyal to our own. Let us lend
encouragement to him who lives by the sweat of
his brain, as we are already loyal to him who lives
by the sweat of his brow. Let us imbibe and
help our children to imbibe, the influence that
comes from work which has been beaten out
on our home anvils under an impulse which has
come from our own morality and high serious-
John Heney Evans.
Salt Lake City, Utah, April, 1912.
Piney Ridge Cottage
The Love Story of a** Mormon" Country Girl
Piney Ridge lay as a dot of green against the
gray hillside. AR around it stretched a barren,
unplowed country. At the back loomed the
mountains, in front the sage-brush covered plain
extended for many miles to the low hills on the
other side of the valley. The nearest railroad
station, that of Croft, was fifteen miles away in
Strangers who had driven for the first time
across those far-reachmg plains, had wondered
at so much land lying unoccupied. **Why," one
had exclaimed, **here is room for a nation! And
these young trees"— meaning the sage-brush—
"what a forest there will be when these grow
up!" This was before irrigation had conquered
the desert, or dry-farming had been made a suc-
cess in this arid region of western America. The
great **Flat" is now covered with fields of wheat
and alfalfa, while shade trees and young orchards
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
break the monotonous level of the land ; but Piney
Ridge, at the time of which we write, was but one
of the green spots miles apart, which bordered
that sage-brush plain.
The wagon road led from the station of Croft
straight across the Flat to the Ridge which formed
one of the foot-hills to the mountains farther on.
Here a narrow valley opened from the hills on to
the Flat. In this valley flowed, during the winter
and spring, a small stream. To get to Piney
Ridge one followed this stream or stream bed
for a few miles, until a dugway was reached
which led up from the valley to the higher ground
on the right. Once on top of the bench, Piney
Ridge came into view. If the season was right
one would then see a most beautiful sight. Piney
Ridge cottage stood close to where the side hill
reached the level bench land. The house, small
but architecturally correct, painted white, nestled
m a bower of green. At the rear on the slope
grew low bushes ; farther up a few cedars spread
their branches; and standing in a nearly straight
row, were exactly twelve pine trees, reaching
above the dwarfed shrubbery and low-gi'owing
cedars. These pines, the only ones to be seen in
the valley, had given Piney Ridge its name.
In front of the house was a garden,a small part
nearest the house being enclosed by a white-
painted picket f ence,the rest of the fence being of
barbed-wire. Within the first enclosure were
grass, tiny gravel walks, and plats of flowers.
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
The larger space contained fruit trees, between
which were rows of vegetables, On one side of
the cottage was a pole corral and a good-sized
bam. Then farther out in front and on the side
away from the narrow valley were small fields of
hay, grain and potatoes.
A nearer view of the house dispelled the first
impression that it was built of white stone,
revealing the fact that the lumber had been well
smoothed and painted. A porch shaded the front
door and windows. Above this porch a large
dormer-window projected from the attic story.
A glass door opened from this on to the porch,
which was here railed in. Plain white curtains
hung at all the windows, the blinds being drawn
on the sunny side. A climbing vine partly cov-
ered the porch, reaching to the railing above.
One evening in the middle of May, Piney Eidge
lay in its usual solitude. The day had been hot,
and when the sun neared the wegtem hills, the
pearly distance became tinged with warmer col-
ors. The door of the upper room opened, and a
young woman stepped out on to the porch.
As she stood there in the glow of the setting
sun, she added the touch of life needed to com-
plete the beautiful evening picture. Slender she
was, but not tall; lithe and rounded in limbs,
erect; she had brown hair, dark brown eyes, an
oval face, pearly teeth; her complexion was also
a brown, not wholly caused by burning sun or
the plentiful supply of freckles. The young
8 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
woman shaded her eyes with her hand as she
looked across the Flat. Then she seated herself
on the railing, still looking out over the plain, as
if she were expecting someone.
The girl hummed softly to herself while she
waited, playing with the vine on the railing, and
now and then raising her head to listen more
attentively. The unclouded sun sank to rest,
burnishing with its last rays Old Thunder's rug-
ged head, and bathing all the land beneath with
rosy hues. The color then left the earth, linger-
ing yet awhile in the sky. The grayness deep-
ened. The soft tones of color harmonized with
the Sabbath-like silence. Peace brooded over
earth and sky and human hearts. There came to
the listening girl seated on the upper porch the
musical tinkling of a sheep's bell, and from the
hillside the faint trickling of falling water and
the sleepy chirp of insects. The low of a cow
came as thunder on the solitude and awoke the
young woman to a realization that, regardless of
all this solemn beauty of earth and sky, it was
The girl disappeared from the upper porch and
presently came out of the side door with milking-
pail in hand. She ran lightly to a nearby field,
where by the bars stood two patient cows. She
patted them, and spoke to them endearingly,
fetched a three-legged stool from a fence comer,
placed it in position, pushed her head into a warm
flank and in a very few minutes the milk foamed
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
toward the top of the pail. Her task was soon fin-
ished, and the brimming pail was taken to the
milk-house, in the side-hill by the spring, through
which the cool water flowed in a wooden trough.
She strained away the new milk, then skimmed a
pan, taking the cream and milk with her back to
The young woman lighted a lamp, placing it on
the cold cook stove while she spread a white cloth
over the oil cloth-covered kitchen table. She re-
placed the lamp and put the pitcher of milk on one
side and the smaller one of cream on the other.
Then she set two bowls with spoons in beside the
pitchers, and heaped a plate with large slices of
bread. A vase containing flowers she took from
a shelf and set in the center of the table. Supper
Presently there was a rattle of wheels in the
yard. The girl hurried to the open door and
peered into the dark. She heard two men's voices
instead of the expected one, so she listened
keenly. The horses were unhitched and turned
into the pasture, and in a few minutes two men
came into the house.
**Well, my girl, have I kept you waiting?"
**Not long, father," replied the girl, **but you
are a little late."
"Yes; blame Brother Sanders here. I had to
call around to get him."
The speaker was a man past middle age, me-
10 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
dium sized, given to leanness. He wore a full
but neatly trimmed beard, in which gray pre-
dominated. John Sanders was a younger man,
heavy set, and slow of speech. He stood hat
in hand, and the father, Hugh Elston, had to
bring him a chair before he would sit down.
"We'll have to have another bowl, Julia.
Brother Sanders will eat bread and milk with
The third bowl and spoon were placed in po-
sition, together with a plate and a knife. While
the men were out at the rear washing, the girl
ran to the milk house and brought back a pat
of butter and some slices of cold meat which !
she placed on the table.
Then the three sat down to supper. The father
asked the blessing, and as soon as he had raised
his head, he said: ,
"Now, help yourself. Brother Sanders. Our
evening meal is very simple, but I can assure you
the bread is good and the butter is good, too.
Julia can't be beat in bread-making."
The father and Julia broke their bread into
their bowls, and the visitor followed their exam-
ple. Then they poured milk on the bread, and
topped it with cream from the smaller pitcher. !
"Now, Brother Sanders," continued Mr. Els-
ton, "help yourself to meat, and don't be afraid
of the butter. There isn't much of it, but Julia
and I eat just bread and milk for supper."
Oh, I like bread and milk," replied the other.
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE
"Here, put some cream on it. We like it that
way. It Isn't quite right without the cream.
12 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
them. You'd better tell her your plans, Brother
"What's the troubled' asked Julia.
"Well, you see,'' explained the trustee, "Miss
Jones has to leave in a week. She can't finish
her term, she says. . We don't want the school
to close now, 'cause the little children's jest get-
tin' a start. We thought we'd like to run the
school for six week yet, an' mebby more. The
superintendelit says that teachers is scarce — don't
know where to get one now — ^and we thought you
might be able to teach the school."
Julia pushed her bowl away and sat back in
astonishment at this. The father looked at her
"Why," she said, "I can't teach school. I
don't know enough. Besides—"
"Oh," interrupted the trustee, "most of the
biggest scholars have already quit, an' you know
it doesn't take so much learin' to teach the little
tads. My girl Sarah 'lowed she could do it, but
as she hasn't got through the seventh grade yet,
I don't think it would do. But you graduated
from the eighth grade last year, didn't you!"
"Yes; but. Brother Sanders," protested the
girl, "that isn't much. You've got to know a lot
to teach school— besides I haven't a certificate."
"Oh, that can be arranged for," continued
Brother Sanders. "I saw the superintendent and
he said he could give you a permit until the next
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 13
**I couldn't take an examination— I'd be too
**You don't have to if you get a permit— not
yet. Your pa thinks you would be be all right."
Yes, Julia," replied the father to her look.
I think you can teach the children, but, of
course, it all rests with you."
**And who'd keep house for you?" she asked.
*'We'll get along."
**And how would I get to school?"
'*Our children drive every morning," replied
Brother Sanders. **They could call for you—
now we're dependin' on you. Shall I say you will
*'What shall I say, father?" ,
**1'11 let you know tomorrow. Brother Sanders,"
answered the father. *'That will be time enough,
**0h, yes. Well, I must be going. My horse
wants to get home, too, I hear." They followed
him into the yard.
**Good night; let us know tomorrow. We'll
depend on you," he shouted as he galloped oflE.
When they came back into the house Julia did
not as usual gather up the few dishes and wash
them; she sat and looked at her father in an
*'You look pretty sober, my girl," he laughed
"I'm afraid already— how can I? Suppose that
Bill Johnson or Tom Henries should come to
14 MNEY RiDGE COTTA(>E
school. They are as old as I am— why— '' she
laughed outright at the thought.
**I understand that only the little children are
attending, as Brother Sanders said, and there are
only a few of them. It will be a good experience
for you— I fear you get lonesome here some-
"Not a bit of it, father— but if you think I can
"That's the way to talk. You'll succeed. What
you had better do is to visit the school a day or
two, and take notice how Miss Jones does it. She
might give you some pointers and lend you some
books to read that will help you. I'll take you
down myself tomorrow."
Then while the father did some chores outside,
Julia washed the bowls and made everything
orderly for the night. Usually she sang as she
did these simple duties, but this evening she was
quiet. Her tasks ended, she placed a paper shade
over the lamp and drew her father's easy chair up
to the table. From an oil-cloth covered box in
the comer she took her father's slippers and put
them by the door. Then from the paper holder
she drew a bundle of mail matter. Two papers
and a letter she laid at her father's place, while
she examined a magazine.
The father soon came in, put on his slippers,
and took his place by the table. He adjusted his
glasses, opened and read the letter. Then he
glanced at the "JVetc^s," but did not read long.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 15
He saw that Julia was not reading. He put
down the paper, pushed his glasses up on his
forehead, and met his daughter's look across the
*'Did I ever tell you that I have taught schools
^No; why, father, I never knew that!"
'Yes ; I was a school teacher for a week. That
was twenty-five years ago, but I remember that
**Qt) on— tell me about it."
**I was a school trustee down where I lived
before 1 moved up here to Piney Ridge. One
cold winter day just before Christmas, I received
word that the teacher was sick. I went to the
school that morning to tell the children they
would have to go home again. Such an announce-
ment is usually met with a good deal of noisy
glee, but, strange to say, most of the boys and
girls were disappointed. I learned the reason for
this when a number of the large boys and girls
gathered round me, explaining that a spelling
contest was on, and that that week was to see its
finish. I learned that there were rival sides, and
the rivalry had become intense. A good part of the
day for a week was to have been taken to decide
the contest, for nearly the whole spelling book
was to be gone through. Wouldn't I be the
teacher, and give out the spelling? they asked.
That was all that would be required ; that was
easy, they clamored. So I promised.
16 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
**Well, for five days that school did nothing but
spell. We held but one session a day, from
twelve to two, but all that time we spelled. In
order to give everybody a chance and keep up
the game for some time, the sides ranged along
opposite walls. When a word was missed but
spelled by another of the same side, that side was
*saved;' but if one on the opposite side spelled
a missed word, the speller had a right to choose
one from the other side to come over to his. This
was continued for some time, usually resulting
in much exchanging of the best spellers. Then all
were spelled down, and school was over for the
"And all you had to do was to read the words
from the book!" asked Julia.
"Well, yes; but I soon learned that it took
skill and tact to control the school, especially
when the contests become close and exciting.
There were difficulties to settle, too. As it has
been so long ago, many of the details have
slipped from me, but I remember quite distinctly
"I suppose that every school has one or more
bullies. We had one— I have forgotten his name.
In the final test he was soon down, because he
could bluster better than he could spell. The
girls, as usual, were the best spellers, and on that
Friday afternoon the two who stood up longest
were of the older girls. One of these girls I had
The morning sun climbed into the blue sky
back of Piney Bidge. Shadows from the pines
lay over the house and reached into the garden.
Julia had been a long time getting asleep the
night before, so she had overslept herself this
morning. With consternation she saw the sun
high in the heavens. She hurriedly dressed and
came down stairs, only to find the cows milked
and breakfast over for her father, who was
already at work in the field.
It would be some hours yet before time to go
to the school. After nibbling a little breakfast
herself and clearing away the dishes, she went
back to her room. She pushed up the blinds
and opened the door to the fresh morning air.
The twitter of nest-building birds came from the
nearby tree. There was a fresh cheeriness in the
Julia's room shared in the uncommonness of
Piney Ridge cottage. The walls and ceilings
were plastered. The wall paper was devoid of
highly-colored *'posy'' effects.
The woodwork was stained to imitate rose-
wood. A serviceable, but not expensive carpet
covered the floor. The white enameled iron bed
stood near the curtained window. A dresser
occupied the largest wall space. In the comer
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 19
near the outside door stood a home-made book
ease, the lower shelves stacked with magazines,
and the upper shelves filled with books. A read-
ing and work table and a low rocker received the
best light near the glass door. A framed Ma-
donna by Murillo hung on the wall on one side of
the dresser, on the other side '*The Gleaners''
had the place of distinction. Of course, there
were the usual girls' trinkets and finishing
touches of ornamentation.
Julia's room was an index to the whole house.
Upstairs there was one imfinished room. The
ground floor contained a bedroom, a front room,
a small kitchen and a large living room. All of
these were finished and furnished tastefully.
Visitors to Piney Ridge cottage looked their won-
der to find here in the midst of a wilderness of
sage-brush, many of the comforts and signs of
good taste usually found only in more favored
And Hugh Elston, reading their thoughts,
would say, ''Culture is not altogether the result
of physical environment. This little home of ours
is only an example of the predominance of mind
over matter. When we came here there was a
little wild brush on the hill-side, some cedars,
those twelve pines, and the spring. Around us
encircled the desert. I enlarged the spring and
obtained a stream large enough for irrigation.
That, of course, has been the magic touch. We
have forced back the desert, not allowing its dis-
20 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
integrating power to encroach upon us. That is
the usual trouble with isolated dwellers like us,
they let the wilderness get the upper hand, and
their lives become as wild and uncouth as their
environment. It is easier for us to live up to our
ideals because we have made our immediate
environment to help us.*'
"But you are a long way from civilization."
*'0h, no. We are only fifteen miles from the
railroad, and that places us in close touch with
the world. We have a twice a week mail service.
There is no reason that we can not have every
comfort and convenience we desire and can
afford. There are only two of us now, and our
tastes are simple. Some of our neighbors think
we are extravagant. * ♦ * Oh, yes, we have
neighbors scattered along the Bidge some miles
apart. ♦ ♦ ♦ Some of them think our window
and door screens are a luxury, and that we are
extravagant in the matter of books and maga-
zines. But I tell them the money I save in taking
care of my farm tools and machinery pays three-
fold for all such things. * * Yes; I'll admit
that is a gentle hint to them. I only wish they
would take it more to heart. ♦ * ♦ Well, we
take all the Church publications and the semi-
weekly Deseret News. Then, I always like to
have one of the first-class Eastern magazines.
1 prefer the Atlantic, but Julia likes Harper's.
So in order to please us both and keep peace in
the family, we take them both. ♦ ♦ ♦ Extrav-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 21
agant, you also think! Not at all. One good-
sized calf which the buyer drives off, or one hog
taken to market, or a load of wheat pays for it
all— a whole year of intellectual feasting. 'Man
shall not live by bread alone,' though I'll admit
that I know some people who think that bread is
all-sufficient if they can have a little hog fat
Julia remembered some of these remarks of
her father's that morning, as she looked over
her books to find, perchance, something on school
teaching; but there was nothing. She had kept
her own school books, and she looked at the
well-worn primers of her beginning days, wond-
ering how she would be able to teach reading
from such books. Her higher grade texts were
more familiar, and the marginal comments in
some of them, brought her back to many happy
school-day incidents. Julia had not started to
school until she was nine years old; but she could
read then, and she had easily kept up with her
classes. The last year in the grades had been
completed in the graded school at the county
seat, since iwhich time, two years ago, she had
lived with her father in their home under the
shadow of the pines.
The one terrible break in the girl's uneventful
life had been the death of her mother a number
of years before. It seemed a long time ago to
her, but the mother's face lived in her memory
more real and more beautiful than the Madonna
22 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
on the wall. The firat years with her mother,
the latter ones with her father— these had been
the shaping influences of her life. The big world
about her had touched her chiefly through the
medium of the printed page, and so its harsh
noises came to her subdued; its restlessness, sin
and misery came to her safe retreat as faint
echoes from a guilty world.
Julie rememhered having read something about
school teaching in the Ladies^ Home Journal^ so
she began the task of looking for it among the
big stack in the comer. This magazine had been
very much of a delight to her. Ladies and gen-
tlemen moved in stately form through its pages.
Here was a world far above this common earth,
at least,of that which lay around Piney Ridge for
many miles. The people in this world of print
always spoke and acted with exact propriety.
None of them would say "aint" or would eat with
their knives. It was quite improper for a man
to have a two-days old beard on his face, and it
was an unpardonable breach of etiquette for a
man to appear in his shirt sleeves even before
his wife. Julia had read of these things, won-
dering whether she could not introduce some of
this '^higher living" into their own common-
place lives. She used to discuss these points
with her father. He was of the opinion that
people who wrote for the Ladies^ Home Journal
and like magazines could not enter into the
needs of the western farmers and ranchers;
PINEY RIDQE COTTAGE 23
"however,'' said he, **it's a good thing to have a
high ideal, even if we can't always reach it.
Common sense also ought to be mixed plentifully
with the expression of the idealist who does noth-
ing but sit at a desk and write out his opinions.
I, for instance, could always wear my coat at
table, but it would be pretty uncomfortable,
especially in the summer, and I'd pay high for
my bit of style."
While Julia was looking for something on
school that morning she came across a printed
menu card that she had tried to follow. It was
one of the simplest of the many dinners outlined,
consisting of five courses only. She laughed
heartily now at the recollection of that elabor-
ate meal which she had served her father, try-
ing to get in all the fancy touches of *'the real
thing." She remembered that two ''numbers"
had been added to the menu : a flood of tears
from her, ending in a merry laugh in which her
father heartily joined.
Julia heard her father come into the house.
He called to her from the foot of the stairs.
"All right, father," she replied. "Are you
waiting for me?"
"No, no; I think we'll have to wait until
tomorrow to visit the school. I find I can't very
well get away today. Will that be all right?"
**Yes— I suppose so," she replied.
Julia went to the open outer door and looked
out. She resumed the hummed tune and went
24 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
down again on the floor among her books. She
had been disappointed in not being able to carry
out the original program for the day, but she
knew it did not matter. A sheet of paper fell
from her geography. Picking it up, she found it
was a note Glen Ourtis had written her, asking
her to go with him to a dance. She remembered
how the teacher had interrupted the message, had
read it, and later had given it to her, and how
embarrassed she had been. She had not dared
write a note back to him, and as she had been
too shy to speak to him about it, he had received
no reply. Glen had quit school shortly after.
She had received other notes from other boys,
but she had quickly destroyed them all. There
seemed to have been something different in
Glen's note, so she had kept it.
Julia found the article she was looking for, but
as it was time to go down stairs and get dinner,
she did not read it. After dinner she took the
magazine and went out in the garden. She sat
down on the rustic seat near the little heart-
shaped flower bed, and read the article ;but it did
not treat on primary teachng, so she got very
little help from it.
Then she worked for awhile in the garden.
Her flowers were not doing so well this summer
—perhaps she had neglected them. This garden
had originally been laid out by her mother; and
for her sake the girl had tried to keep it up ; but
it was quite a care at times. Sometimes the
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 25
water was scarce, and then the weeds had a
habit of growing much thriftier than the flowers.
She trimmed the little walk which curved around
the grass plats, and carried some water to a
drooping flower. Then she put on her sun-
bonnet and walked out past the bam by the water
ditch which ran along the edge of the hill. Some
light, fleecy clouds obscured the sun, so she took
oflE her bonnet. There was a story in the maga-
zine which she had not read, so she began it as
she walked along.
A quarter of a mile from Piney Ridge Cottage,
along the path Julia was taking, was a grave-
yard. A stout picket fence enclosed a few rods
of ground in which were five graves. This grave-
yard was another example of Hugh Elston's
"extravagance." From the end of his field in
that direction, a ditch extended some rods
through the sage-brush to the enclosure, and in
this ditch enough of the precious water was sent
to keep alive some rose and lilac bushes and a
few square rods of grass. Here Hugh Elston had
buried his wife, and later he had invited others
of his distant neighbors who had suffered loss to
bring their dead and let them sleep in this spot of
green, rather than in the desolate loneliness of a
single grave on the dry hill side.
Julia opened the gate and went into the enclos-
ure. Her mother's grave was in one comer, and
the bushes there were large enough to cast a
shade over the mound. Some hardy flowers
26 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
bloomed along the edge, and Julia placed near
the headstone a handful of wild blossoms she
had gathered on the Way. Then she sat down on
the grass to finish reading her story.
Julia, being a girl, liked to read a story— and
especially a love story. Her father thought it
part of wisdom not to forbid her reading stories,
but to furnish her with the best. "First," said
he, "those that are imbued with the spirit of the
Gospel," and for that reason he subscribed for
the Church magazines— then the best that are
found in the high class magazines of the world.
These could do no harm, and would give her an
outlook on the world's thoughts and feelings.
Out of her reading, Julia had formed her
ideals, among them being an ide^'l lover. She
was not foolish enough to think that this lover
must of necessity come from some city, and be
clad in fashionable attire. Neither did she fancy
the brave, dashing cowboy sometimes described
in her reading. The cowboys whom she had met
were, as a rule, not the story-book kind. Boys
there were on the neighboring ranches, and some
of them she knew very well. A number of them
attended Sunday School and sometimes they
came to meeting. A few of them had tried to
get better acquainted with her, but either they
lacked tact or courage, or she had discouraged
them by her strange, distant ways. Perhaps all
these causes had something to do with the fact that
Julia Elston was as yet as heart-free as the
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 27
breezes that played in the tops of the pines. Yet
she had her ideal, somewhat intangible, a far-
away something sacred to her that would some
day be made clearly manifest.
She finished her story, let the magazine drop to
the grass, and then she sat looking at the mound
before her. The story had ended strangely.
Someone had died, thus solving a vexed prob-
lem. Yes, she thought, death does sometimes
solve problems; and then again it creates
them. Here was her mother. She [remem-
bered her as a dear soul. She must have been
good and brave to have been willing to help her
father make a home in this wilderness. Why had
they come here? Why had they not lived in the
city, or at least in some country settlement where
there was more society? In the beginning it
must have been hard. There was something in
the life of her father and mother that she had not
been told. Her father had always trusted her,
had in recent years counseled with her on all his
doings ; but she knew that there was one chapter in
his life which he desired to remain as if forgotten.
She had long ago respected that wish— but why
should she not know !
The fleecy clouds melted into the dry, warm
air, and the sun shone again. The afternoon was
passing. The lilac bush cast a long shadow over
the grave. She would have to go home.
As she sprang to her feet and turned around,
she gave a scream of fright. A man was stand-
28 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
ing: outside the fence. He was clean-shaven,
with a Panama hat tilted back on his head. He
was leaning against the fence, his arms on the
pickets, his chin in his hands, looking at her.
When she screamed, he straightened and $aid :
"I beg your pardon. I did not mean to frighten
It does sometimes rain dming the summer in
America's arid region; and that morning as Julia
and her father were driving across the Flat, the
clouds hung low, and rumblings of thunder came
from the west; but it seemed no easy task for
the clouds to let go their moisture, for there was a
lot of fuss in the sky before the rain actually
The school that Julia was to visit was the lat-
est to be set in operation in the county. Two
years before, half a dozen ranchers had peti-
tioned the county commissioners for a separate
district, and one that would extend to the rail-
road so that they might have some valuable prop-
erty to tax. The request was granted. Trustees
were appointed until the next election, and they
set to work. But where to build the schoolhouse
was the question. It was fifteen miles between the
two ranchers who had most of the children. The
dry sage-brush flat lay between. To build it near
either of these would compel the others to travel
the whole distance across the district. About
midway, a spur from the benchland extended on
to the flat. There was a small spring of water at
the foot of the hill, and here— not near the
spring, but on the high and dry hill— the school-
house was built. It was made of logs smoothed
30 PINEY RroGE COTTAGE
on the inside, the chinks filled with plaster.
The roof was laid with slabs, the roiigh sur-
face being up, which was covered with clay.
There were two windows and a door. The floor
was of planed lumber. The room was furnished
with a dozen second-hand desks; three large
charts that the school-supply agent had-convinced
the trustees were indispensable ; a piece of black-
board three by six feet; two maps; a rusty stove
not now in use, therefore placed in a comer; a
box of crayons; six erasers, made by one of the
trustees from a sheep's skin; a water-bucket and
a tin dipper. But the most wonderful piece of
furniture in the room was a tellurian, a machine
made of wheels and balls and cranks, meant to
illustrate the movements of the heavenly bodies.
The moon had fallen out of its orbit because the
arm that held it had been broken. The earth
showed a big hole in its pasteboard side, where
the North Pole is supposed to be ; but the pros-
pect of these calamities had not worried the
energetic asrent who had taken the trustees^ note
for the price of this section of the solar system.
Julia and her father found school already in
session. Horses stood tied to posts and wagons,
some eating hay, others standing in lazy dejec-
tion. The visitors fastened their horses and went
in. Miss Jones received them graciously, while
the dozen children stared in open-mouthed won-
der. The scholars were having a lesson in pen-
manship, and incidentally, they were also to learn
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 31
wisdom from one of Solomon's sayings, engraved
at the top of the copy book. This the pupils
were copying, and Julia noted that the penman-
ship got poorer in proportion to the distance
traveled down the page and away from the per-
fect copy. They ought to see the perfect copy
every time,* she thought.
At the noon recess, Miss Jones spoke freely
about the school, and what Julia would meet as
helps and hindrances. ^^The children are as
good as they can be," she said, **and I think you
will get along. Be firm with them from the
first— if you wish to be lenient, youUl have plenty
of time for that; but establish your rule from
the first. The great drawback here is the equip-
ment, but we understand this is a beginning, and
conditions will improve."
Julia asked if she had some books on teaching
which she could be studying.
**Yes; here is *The Art of Teaching,' a good
book, and helpful, and also Hughes' 'Mistakes in
Teaching.' " Hugh Elston examined them, then
"She'll want to know what to do at the first,
and not what not to do. This book on mistakes
will be better for her after a few weeks."
**I'll make mistakes enough, I suppose," said
Julia. **I fear I'll make a poor teacher."
**Not at all," corrected Miss Jones. *'I think
you'll make a good one, and that's what I told
32 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
**Thank you," replied Julia, **I'll do my best."
They drove home again before school closed.
Julia took the borrowed books with her and read
diligently. She was surprised how interesting
such prosy subjects became where there was an
immediate and pressing need for them.
Having finished its elaborate preparations, the
rain now began to fall, gently at first, and then
with stronger swishes of wind. The covers of the
wagon were fastened, and Julia had to close her
book. The horses were urged to quicker pace,
and the mud flew from the wagon wheels.
"I'm glad I finished the potato patch yester-
day," said Mr. Elston. '*This rain will be fine
for the crops. By the way, who was that man at
the graveyard last evening! "
Julia looked at her father, reddening just a
trifle; but the father had no other purpose than
"He was a stranger, so he said, looking after
land. He came upon me so suddenly that he
frightened me, or rather I was so absorbed in a
story I was reading, that he might have been
standing looking at me for some time."
"Did he tell you his name?"
"No; he had no occasion. He was very nice—
an educated man from the East, I should judge.
He asked who lived at Piney Ridge, and ever so
many questions about us—"
"Which you answered."
"Oh, no, father, not all. He said we had a
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 33
very pretty place, and of course, I agreed with
him,— isn't Miss Jones a nice ladyf "
** Julia,'' said her father, ignoring the last ques-
tion, "I hope you will always remember what I
so often have told you, to beware of strangers
that come to this country. All, of course, are
not adventurers, but many are; and when they
discover you, a girl with much refinement, out
here amid a wild country, they become interested
and inquisitive. I don't blame them, of course,
but I am talking thus plainly to you, as you know
I always do."
**Well, father, you must think,"— she began,
and then checked herself. "I just spoke to him
decently. That was all. I shall remember what
She cuddled close to her father, perhaps to get
away from the rain which beat in on her side of
the wagon. His arm went around her, and they
rode along in silence. A drop trickled down her
brown cheek, which could not have been from
the rain, as she was well protected from that.
While Hugh and Julia Elston were driving over
the Flat towards Piney Ridge Cottage that after-
noon, the young man whom Julia had met at the
grave yard was sitting in the railroad station at
Croft. The train for which he was waiting was
late. He was the only prospective passenger,
and he walked impatiently back and forth from
the door on one side to the window on the other,
looking at the rain and then up the track.
34 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
"I thought it never rained in this country/' he
remarked to the station master, who sat in the
office, heels on table, pipe in mouth, reading a
newspaper. There was no answer. Then the
would-be-traveler opened his grip, took from it a
tab of paper, made a desk of the low window sill,
and wrote :
My Bear Mother:
As I have an hour yet— perhaps two— to wait
for my train here in this dirty little station of
Croft, I will tell you a little of my doings and
Mr. Elston is still alive and well. I had no
difficulty in finding him. He lives with an only
daughter, now about nineteen years old, fifteen
miles from this station, away across a big valley
where nothing as yet grows but sage-brush. 1
rode out there yesterday, and stayed around
**looking for land" until today. Mr. Elston's
house is known as Piney Ridge Cottage, and I
must say I was surprised— nay, astonisned at
what I saw. He has a very neat house— I did
not get inside— surrounded by gardens and fields.
His spring of water coming from the hillside just
above his house is very valuable, I am told.
This water would irrigate much more land than
he has under cultivation, but I understand that
he has all he can take care of. I was captivated
b^r the place. After traveling for mfles and
miles through a dry, desert-looking country, to
come thus suddenly on an oasis in the desert was
a pleasant sunrise. It is wonderful, with its air
of silence, of loneliness, of rest from the spirit of
fretfulness, away from the vulgar, jostling crowd
of the big, noisy, dirty, ugly city. The money
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 35
value of the place I don't think would be much
—not yet. When the country becomes more
developed/ this spot will no doubt become more
valuable, but that may be many years yet. There
are no immediate prospects of any great rise in
prices out here.
I did not get to speak to Mr. Elston— I did not
try; but I had a number of fairly good looks at
him. He is ageing rapidly, I should say, as his
beard, wMch he wears full, and his hair are get-
ting gray. He is held in good repute by the
ranchers in this part.
His daughter— her name is Julia, I learned— is
not what one would call a beautiful girl, but
there is something about her that is attractive.
She is brown as a berry, naturally so, I should
judge. I came across her quite accidentally.
She was sitting behind some bushes in a small
cemetery not far from her home. Here I learned
her mother is buried. She died some years ago.
The girl was reading a copy of the Ladies^ Home
Journal— Yfho would have thought to find that out
here? Well, the class of literature she reads
gives an idea of what the girl is herself. If I
remember right you said Mr. Elston was a great
reader, and I suppose he has trained his daughter
along that line also.
The trains out here can never be depended
upon. It is raining hard now. I am going to
Salt Lake, where 1 shall have to get some legal
advice. The marriage relation, as you know, is
sometimes a mighty complicated thmg out here,
and I had better see pust what can be done before
you make any definite move. I shall write you
again from Salt Lake.
Later.— The train is still delayed— I have a half
hour yet to wait, so the grouchy agent just told
me This waitmg wouldn't be so tiresome if I
36 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
were out at Piney Ridge Cottage. I imagine it is
neat and cosy inside — ^I mean to see it on my
next visit. It has just occurred to me that there
might be another and an easier way for us to
accomplish the business in hand, rll tell you
more about that as things develop. Julia is a
mighty attractive girl, quite different from the
average out here. Well, you see, dear mother, I
!et around to the girls again — ^this is only a hint,
'he agent has taken his heels from the
table, and I suppose that is an indication that
the train is coming.
38 PlNEVr KIDGE COTTAGE
lem. Brother Sanders was chairman of the board,
and he by right of his oflBce, presented the ques-
tion formally to the meeting.
*'We hadn't thought of the name before," he
said, *'but I can see now that it's a mighty
important matter. I've been thinkin' about it
some, and the more I think about it the more
important it gets. The name we give to this here
deestrict will in time be the name given to the
Church ward, and later to the town when one is
built; so the name will go down to our posterity.
Have you thought of a name?"
Trustee Johnson hadn't thought of any;
Trustee Turchi remarked that **most of the
places round here are named after some
creek — there's Bear Creek, an' Muddy Creek, an'
Eocky Creek an' a lot more. How'd Cub Creek
do for ours!"
**But Where's the creek?" asked Trustee
"An' Where's the cub?" asked Chairman
Trustee Turchi did not know, though he had
himself seen a cub bear on the point where they
were to build the schoolhouse.
"How does Cub Point sound?" asked Trustee
"Oh, no," answered the chairman, that won't
do. Let's see, there's that spring under the hill,
what do we call it?"
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 39
** 'Tisn'tbig enough to have a name," remarked
**If Piney Ridge came in our deestriet/' said
Trustee Sanders — "but it donH."
The meeting closed without coming to any con-
clusion, and it was not until the second meeting
of the board that they decided to name the dis-
trict and the schoolhouse after the oldest settler.
The creeks and springs and points lost out to
the commonplace name of Thompson.
So Julia was the teacher at Thompson. For a
week the trustees did not visit the school; for
Trustee Sanders suggested she work out her own
salvation without the fear and trembling which
would naturally follow a visit from the board of
trustees. And Julia was glad that she had no visit-
ors. The second week the county superintendent
came suddenly to Thompson. When he stepped
unannounced into the door, Julia became numb
with fear. But he soon put her at her ease again,
and before his visit was over, she had received
from him new light and much help and encour-
agememt. He took charge of the beginners' class
and gave her a practical lesson on how to teach
reading. She was drilling the children on their
a, b, c's, but he showed her that there was a bet-
ter and more logical way by teaching whole
words and sentences from the the first. Quick to
see the point, Julia understood and was delighted
with the success which followed her own efforts
in that line. The superintendent promised, to
40 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
send her some books on modem methods that
would help her.
The third Monday the trustees visited the
school in a body. Julia was not timid, know-
ing she had the children well in hand, and she
thought she was doing fairly well with them.
The visitors looked and listened with interest,and
just before the noon recess, Trustee Sanders
spoke to the children on the advantages they
were having compared to what their parents had
enjoyed. He hoped they would study hard, and
learn their lessons well. He had been pleased
with the lessons ; he hadn't heard any arithme-
tic — arithmetic was mighty important, specially
for the boys. *'Now,whatboy can say the multi-
plication table?" A number could. *'That's fine.
This boy say the sixes." The boy did so. *'Now
say 'em backwards." The boy couldn't. **It's
important that you learn them any ways; 'cause,
you see you never know how they will come in lise.
I'll bet this little girl can say her letters right off.
Can you? Come and show us." The little girl
shook her head.. **ButIheard you read— about
a little bird in the tree. How is it you can read,
and you don't know your a, b, c's?"
*'Teacher don't learn 'em to us," she answered.
Trustee Sanders turned to the teacher inquir-
ingly, but she only smiled in reply. The other
visitors did not care to speak, so school was dis-
missed. The children marched out orderly, **even
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 41
an improvement on Miss Jones' way," one of the
But Trustee Sanders looked with suspicion on
teaching children to read, without their knowing
the alphabet. "In the first place, I don't see how
it can be done," he declared. "Why, they've
got to know the letters or how can they read?
That's the way we learned, isn't it?"
"That's the way, it seems to me, too," agreed
the second man, while the third remarked, "But
the little girl did read, didn't she?" So the puz-
zle grew, and the chairman decided in his own
mind that this remarkable thing was a subject for
Julia took her school problems to her father,
and together they worked them out.
She found her father a great help. Many an
evening she would come home discouraged only
to receive renewed strength, new ideas, new life
from him. At first he had relieved her of her
outdoor duties, but after the first week she had
requested that she be permitted to milk, at least,
"But you are tired," he said.
"Yes, but in a different way," she explained.
"I want to do something with my hands, to rest
my brains, I suppose. You don't know how the
ideas for the morrow's work dance around in the
foam of the milk pail when I stick my head in
Her father laughed at her, and readily said she
42 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
could milk, knowing that there was wisdom in
The evening following the trustees' visit, Julia
and her father sat by the shaded lamp. She told
him what had occurred.
**I'm afraid they don't think I'm doing right
in my beginner's reading," she said, **Brother
Sanders, I am sure, thought it strange. I had
some busy work for my first reader class, and I
heard Brother Johnson ask one of the girls if she
didn't have a book so that she could study her
lesson. They thought the class was just playing
and wasting their time . "
'*Well," said the father, **they don't under-
stand. They mean well. You'll have to have
patience with them, as they have patience with
*'Patience and good temper. Yes, they go
together. I find that a teacher must have both,
and my stock, as you know, is never very
**I'm glad you think so. I try hard enough —
and I know it's best. Only yesterday I lost my
temper, and boxed a boy's ears. I was sorry for
it afterwards, and I saw plainly that I had
made a mistake. Oh, the boy deserved it, all
right, but I am beginning to learn that there
are other and better ways of punishing."
As a whole, the days went very pleasantly with
the young school teacher. The morning air was
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 43
usually fresh and cool. The road was not trav-
eled enough to be dusty, and rabbits and some-
times coyotes kept her company. The log walls
and clay roof of the schoolhouse prevented the
room from becoming too warm. Often at noon the
whole school took their lunches down to the
spring where there was a little grass and a few
willows. After eating they played games, and
** teacher'' took part as eagerly as the rest. The
trustees had cleaned out the spring, made a box
and a spout so that cattle would not tread it in.
The boys especially made the spring their play-
ground, and they soon had an elaborate system
of irrigation laid out. The tiny stream was led
into tinier canals, the main one being two inches
wide at the bottom, and reaching at least twenty
feet. From this, branch ditches were led by great
engineering skill around some steep banks, three
feet high, to the level upland. When the school
water-pail was filled from the spring, the whole
system became dry, but if the pupils were not
very thirsty, and the spring, therefore, not drawn
on too heavily, a beautiful little stream would
glide around the curves at the bank, and then
spread out over a wheat field, which the boys had
planted, to the distance of at least three feet.
Woe to the boy or girl who carelessly stepped on
this precious toy, made from that most beautiful
thing to the desert children— flowing water!
Julia had one or two lazy boys and a number
of mischievous ones; and she soon discovered
44 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
that she had to adopt various methods of treat-
ment. Each boy took turns day about in being
** water-master" — that is, in seeing that the water
pail was not allowed to remain empty. She
created a rivaliy to see which of the boys could
bring a pail of water from the spring in the least
time. Whenever the "water-master" took the
bucket, Julia hung the little clock in full view of
the school. Then she marked on the board the
exact time of departure and the minute he again
stepped into the door. At first the boys did not
hurry, but when the element of competition grew
stronger the time was lessened materially. The
laziest boy had been purposely left to the last
turn, and when the day came for him to be
"water-master" the record was, in the opinion of
many, unbreakable. At least,slow-moving Tommy
couldn't touch it. But Julia smiled on Tommy
that morning and said to him, in a low, confiden-
tial tone, "Break the record!" and Tommy
smiled back. Not one in that school knew that
Tommy had been practicing for a week at home
in running with a full water-bucket. The teacher
placed the clock as usual and marked the time.
The school settled for a long wait, but before
they were aware of it, the "water-master" for the
day was back with the water, which he placed
with a bang on the bench. Julia marked the
returning time, made a quick calculation, and
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 45
"Tommy has beaten the record, and is cham-
pion water carrier— who said he was lazy!"
And Tommy was loudly applauded as he took
Another of the "lazy" boys was a great rabbit
hunter. He boasted that he could easily bag
ten rabbits in a day. He would never think of
coming home without that number, that is, if
the weather was fair, and he had a good gun
and plenty of ammunition. Henry's spelling
lesson consisted of twenty words each day ; but
he never could spell more than half of them, try
as the teacher would to get him to believe other-
wise. "They're too hard- I can't do it," he
One day Henry was kept in. His spelling had
been worse than usual, and he knew what was
coming. He would have to write those abominable
words over at least six times and then spell them
orally to the teacher. He was the only one kept
in. He got out his speller, pencil and note-book,
ready for work; but the teacher went on with
her board-cleaning, saying nothing to him.
Presently she turned to him with a smile— he
never dreamed what preparatory effort that smile
"Henry, your're a pretty good rabbit hunter,
aren't yout" she asked.
"Huh, huh — yes ma'am," he corrected.
"You can bring home ten every night, if you
have half a chance— that is, if the weather is fine
46 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
your gun is all right, and your ammunition does
not give out?"
•1 think so/'
**It would be a pretty lazy day's work, if, every-
thing being favorable, you should bring home
only five rabbits."
*'You bet it would!''
The teacher looked steadily at him, still smil-
ing. *'The weather is fine today, isn't it?"
^Yes," said the astonished boy.
^Nothing the matter with your spelling book,
is there — ^lesson isn't torn out or anything like
I guess not."
'And your eyesight's good— that is, you can
see all right, and you haven't got the headache,
have you?' '
'All right, Henry, now go home and think
The boy walked out in a sort of daze which did
not pass until he nearly reached home. Then it
dawned on him what she meant. There was an
improvement in his spelling after that.
As the weeks passed. Trustee Sanders became
very much concerned about the new teacher.
Had they not made a mistake! He had no chil-
dren learning to read in his family, so he visited
some of his neighbors. His worst fears were
realized. Little Jennie Smith could read from a
book, and yet she could not repeat the alphabet.
PINE Y RIDGE COTTAGE 47
Jennie's mother had not known this until Trustee
Sanders called her attention to it. One of the
older children was present at the examination,
and he remarked that he had learned to read the
same way. By further enquiiy it was discovered
that Miss Jones had taught reading by the same
method; then the surprise grew. *'Did Miss Jones
allow the children to play in school with paper
and sticks!" Not so much as Miss Elston. The
evil was gi*owing ! The board decided to pay the
school another official visit.*
The afternoon that the trustees were to visit the
school, Julia was worrying through a geography
lesson. It was hot and close within the school
room. It seemed impossible to arouse an inter-
est in the natural divisions of land and water.
* It must not be forgotten that these men were
pioneers in a new country, some of them sons of
pioneers. In this matter of schooling they did
the best they could. They had been deprived to a
large extent, of the learning found in books, so
they were eager to have their children obtain that
which they or their parents did not have very
much of. It was by considerable sacrifice that
the crude beginning was made. However, condi-
tions did not remam long as at first. Advance-
ment made rapid strides. New and more com-
fortable school-houses were built, even while the
settlers still lived under clay roofs. Better teachers
were procured. Then came consolidation and
better grading, better supervision, until now
those same schools are the equal of any in the
48 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
How could she make them miderstand what lakes,
and bays and oceans were when some of them
had never seen more water than would make
a trickling irrigation stream. Then a happy
thought came to the teacher! They would all go
down to the spring and there in minature make
the capes and islands and peninsulas. In a few
minutes the whole school clattered eagerly down
the hill, and were soon, under the teacher's direc-
tion, making some beautiful natural divisions of
land and water.
The trustees, in serious mood, drove up to the
schoolhouse, tied their horses, and went in. Not
a child was to be seen. What was the matter?
It was not recess time, and school had not been
dismissed, for there were books and dinner pails,
and the teacher's hat. As they listened in the
stillness, they heard the faint sound of children's
voices from down the hill. The trustees went
out, and sure enough, there was the whole school
down by the spring. The official faces became
graver still. "Let us go down and see what they
are up to," said the chairman.
The children were so absorbed in what they
were doing that they did not see the trustees until
they were nearly upon them. Julia was bending
over a small pond of water in the middle of which
she was molding an island. Her hands were in
the mud, streaks of which extended to her
'^Here's the trustees," someone whispered.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 49
Julia straightened, her hands dripping with
dirty water. She couldn't even push back her
tousled hair, so she had to stand in embarrassed
**Well/' began Trustee Sanders, **what do
you think you're doin'?''
** We're having a lesson in geography," she
**G'ofirraphy! Huh! It seems to me you're mak-
in' mud pies." The trustee was angry. *'Why
aren't ye in school studyin' yer lessons?''
Julia controlled herself well. "Oh," she
explained, * 'this is part of our lesson— but we're
through now. Come, boys and girls. We'll go
back to school. The trustees have come to
So they reluctantly washed their hands, and
then marched slowly back to school. The trus-
tees followed. With a big foot one of them
unconsciously destroyed a beautifully built flume
which led the water in the main canal across a
deep crack. Another foot made deep marks in
the wheat field. The trustees did not know what
ruin they were making, but as they walked slowly
up the hill,they looked with deep concern at each
**This is the limit," said the chairman. I fear
we must get another teacher. ' '
One Sunday morning in late June, Mr. Chester
Lawrence alighted from the train at Croft and
strolled over to the primitive livery stable across
*'Have you a horse and buggy I can have for
the dayr* he asked.
**Where ye goin'?"
''Out on the Flat."
"Wall, one horse '11 find it pretty bad traveling
'cause there's sage-brush in the middle of the
**Well, give me a two-horse rig, then."
A horse and a saddle would have answered on
a week day, but this being Sunday, and he
having on his ** Sunday best," Chester thought it
wiser to drive out in a buggy.
Already a hot sun blazed from a cloudless sky.
The plain lay baked and dry. The sage-brash
was covered with dust. Chester drew on driving
gloves, tucked back his white cuffs, and pulled
the lap robe well up. "This is a dirty, dusty
country," he remarked to himself; "hardly the
place for black clothes and white linen."
He headed the team across the Flat towards
Piney Ridge, which shone in the morning sun as
a spot cool and clean in the dreary landscape.
He made the horses travel, and a streak of dust
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 51
Half way across he met a number of people*
some in wagons, some in buggies, and a few rid-
ing horse-back. He turned out into the sage-
brush to let the vehicles pass. The people were
all '*dressed up," and were no doubt going to
some Sunday meeting. Presently ahead of him
in the dust of the passing teams he saw driving
towards him an elderly man and a young woman.
Yes, it was Mr. Elston and his daughter. When
they met they both drew out of the road, but as
they were about to pass, Chester stopped. He
took off his hat in greeting and said, "Good
morning." Julia recognized him with a nod and
**how do you do."
*'Is this Mr. Elgton?" enquired the young man.
Tes; that is my name."
'Well, I was just going out to your place in
hopes that I might get to see you. I was told
you could give me some information on land
Hugh Elston looked closely at the speaker.
He had never naet him before, and yet there was
something about the young man that looked
familiar, something in his voice that brought back
old-time memories. He did not answer for a
moment. Then suddenly, "We are going to
Sunday School. If you have time you may go
with us. Afterwards I shall be pleased to give
you any information I can."
The young man was pleased to do this, so he
turned and followed them as they drove on. He
52 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
dropped behind to escape the dust, but not before
he had got a good look at Julia. She wore a |
white dress, over which was thrown a cloak. A
sailor hat was pinned to the coils of brown hair. j
She held in her hand a boquet of roses. I
Presently they turned to the right, away from
the road to the station, crossing the small valley
and dry creek. Three miles further they came
to a school-house,aroimd which were a number of
teams and horses tied. Mr. Elston drove up to
the door, cramping his vehicle to let Julia alight.
She threw the dusty cloak back into the wagon.
*'Go in,'' said her father; * 'don't wait forme."
Then he suggested a hitching place for the
stranger, and when both teams were secured, the
men went in together.
This was the first time Chester Lawrence had
ever been in a * 'Mormon" meetinghouse. Not
even the tabernacle in Salt Lake had attracted
him to it. He wanted nothing whatever to do
with *'Mormonism." He and his had had enough
of that, and it would be the last thing on earth
he would encourage by his presence. However,
here he was ; but he had an end in view in going
to this ''Mormon" meeting out in the sage-brush
coimtry, and his object was not to get information
on points of "Mormon" doctrine. He thought he
knew some of this doctrine, and he hated it with
all his soul.
Chester was shown to a seat in the comer by the
door where there were already half a dozen yoimg
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 53
men and women. From this point of vantage he
could see everything that went on. The room, he
observed, was neat enough, though somewhat
crude. The seats were school desks, and it was
plainly seen that this room was used for all gather-
ing purposes. The smooth, shining appearance of
the floor surely told of the ball-room.
Mr. Elston sat on the raised platform behind
the teacher's desk, and Julia was busy with the
smallest children at the other end of the room,
taking their hats and finding them seats. The
visitor became interested in the strange scene,
but his eyes rested on Julia most of the time.
She moved among these sturdy but somewhat
unpolished people with the grace of one who has
had training elsewhere. A tiny red bud was
tucked between the coils of her hair, and a larger
blossom was pinned on her dress. The bouquet
she placed in a glass tumbler on the teacher's
The exercises began by the singing of a hymn,
accompanied by an organ. Then someone was
called from the body of the house to offer prayer.
Another song was sung, a yoimg lady read the
minutes of the previous session of the school,
which were accepted by a raising of hands. The
whole school then repeated some passages from
the Bible, after which there was some practice on
a new song. Two curtains were then drawn
across the room, making three compartments.
The superintendent introduced himself to the
54 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
stranger, and asked him would he like to visit the
departments, or would he rather remain where he
was, in the theological class.
Chester hesitated. "We'll look around, any-
way," said his guide, "and then you may come
back here. You know, we claim to have as good
a school as there is in the stake, even though
we are so few."
He led the way behind the curtains, Chester
following and wondering what a "stake*' was.
"This is the Intermediate department," was
explained. "They are studying the life of Christ,
but they are a little behind the outlines.'' They
have "outlines" even out here, thought the
visitor. They listened a few minutes, then stepped
around the other curtain into the Primary depart-
ment. Julia was telling the children the story
of Samuel ; how his mother had given him to the
Lord when he was a little boy ; how he lived with
Eli in the temple ; and how the Lord had called
him in the night. Julia told the story well, not
heeding the presence of the superintendent and
the visitor. Chester would have liked to remain
in the Primary department, but he was led back
CO his first place.
Here Mr. Elston was the teacher, and this class
was studying the Book or Mormon. Now,thought
Chester Lawrence, he would hear "Mormonism."
So far he had not seen or heard what he had
expected. These other classes were using the
same Bible as the Christians used, and the same
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 55
stories were being told the children that had
been told to him— many years ago. From the
Book of Mormon, surely would come some
The lesson topic that day was the story of the
two thousand young men, "Helaman's strip-
lings," who fought so valiantly to protect their
rights and liberties. Their fathers had been dark-
skinned Lamanites, who had covenanted that
they would never more take up arms against their
brethren ; but the time came when the liberties of
the Nephites, their protectors, were in danger,
and so there came forward some two thousand
of the young men who were free from the cove-
nant of their fathers. These covenanted to fight
for the freedom of their brethren, even to the
laying down of their lives. These, so the his-
tory gave it, "were exceedingly valiant for cour-
age, and also for strength and activity ♦ ♦ ♦
they were men of truth and soberness for they
had been taught to keep the commandments of
Gk)d." And then the strange wonder of this story
was that though this little army went through a
long and bloody war, fought many battles and
every man of them receiving many wounds, yet
not one of them was killed!
After the story was brought out, the teacher
*'What was the secret of the young men's
Their implicit faith," was the reply.
56 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
*'True; and how had they obtained such great
'Their mothers had implanted it in them."
Brother Johns," said the teacher, *'read what
it says about that." The brother read from the
text. "They had been taught by their mothers
that if they did not doubt God would deliver
them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of
their mothers, sajring. We do not doubt our
mothers knew it."
"Yes," commented the class instructor, "this
is one of the most striking instances we have of
the influence of the mother. After all, is it not
true that the children are what the mother makes
themi The father, of course, is a factor— some
more, some less — but I think the great truth
holds good that the mother is the greatest power
for good or evil in the training of the growing
As Chester Lawrence sat and listened, looking
intently at the speaker, he wondered at what he
heard. He could not accept this book as history,
but he could find no fault with the moral teach-
ings drawn -from it. Yes; it was surely true that
as the mother taught the child, so was he inclined.
His own mother had told him that the "Mormons
were a bad people, and that "Mormonism
was a vile religion— that, of course, must be true ;
but where were the evidences! So far he had
seen none. There were to be preaching services
HNEY EIDGE COTTAGE 57
after the Sunday school— then he would hear the
After the school was dismissed, Hugh Elston
explained to Chester that because of the long
distances from the homes of the people to the
meeting place, the services followed directly after
the school, thus making two drives unnecessary.
After a ten minute intermission, some more of
the older people having arrived, the meeting was
called to order. After the opening exercises, a
number of men were unexpectedly called from
the congregation to preach. The first, a young
man, had recently returned from a preaching
mission to the Southern States, and he told of
his experiences, among which were a number of
drivings by mobs with shot guns. The second
speaker preached from a scriptural text, showing
that faith, repentance and baptism were neces-
sary for salvation. The last speaker was an old
man. He told of the early settlers of the West,
and how he had left his home in England, and
had pulled a hand-cart across the plains in early
days for the sake of his religion.
At the close of the meeting Hugh Elston asked
the visitor if he would drive home with him. As
Chester needed no second invitation, they were
soon on the road towards Piney Eidge. They
arrived early in the afternoon. Julia sprang out
and ran into the house, while the men unhitched
and fed the horses.
58 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
"I don't believe you have told me your name,"
said the older man.
"My name is Chester Lawrence," was the
1 thought so."
Why, how could you know? I have not
told it to any one about here."
"No, but you have your mother's face and
The young man was somewhat surprised and
annoyed. This man knew him, perhaps knew
his whole secret, and what he was there for. He
had not counted on this.
"Come," said Mr. Elston, "we will go in and
have some dinner. Then I shall be pleased to give
you any information that I have about land— if
that is what you want."
The young man followed his host into the house,
not knowing on the spur of the moment what
else to do. The table was already set for three.
Julia had slipped a big work apron over her
dress, and was cutting bread. The rose bud was
still in her hair— and there was a heightened
color in her cheeks.
"You have met my daughter before, I believe,"
said the father. "Julia, this is Mr. Chester
Lawrence." Julia bowed. She took his hat, and
the father directed him to the wash basin, where
he could "get rid of some of the dust."
"It's all ready, father," called Julia presently.
"All right, we're coming."
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 59
When the two men were seated, Julia took her
place. Her father . nodded to her, and the girl
bowed her head and asked the blessing.
Now, Mr. Lawrence,^' said Hugh Elston,
you must help yourself. We have no cooked
dinners on Sunday; but we have plenty of cool,
sweet milk, not robbed of its cream, good bread
and butter, thanks to Julia, and so we get
*'I can assure you there can be nothing better
than just this," replied the young man, "espe-
cially during these dry, hot days."
"We think so. We are simple people, Julia
and I, and our luxuries do not run to eating."
"You have a very fine place here— a sort of
oasis in the desert."
"Yes; we have a home— that's all. Even if we
are a long way from neighbors. But we are con-
tented. Julia is just closing her first effort at
school teaching, and that has been a change for
"How do you like it?" asked Chester, glad of
the opening to bring her into the conversation.
"Well, sometimes I like it and sometimes I
"I suppose that's the way with everything,
"All work has its unpleasant duties," said the
Then Chester asked about the unoccupied land
lying idle in the region.
60 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
"Some day," explained Mr. Elston, **all of it
will be under cultivation. Some day the govern-
ment or some big companies will dam the river
thirty miles away, and will bring water along the
foothills here to irrigate the Flat. Then the
land will be valuable, for it is the finest kind of
soil. A good deal of the land is already taken,
but large areas are yet to be had— Julia, get
another pitcher of milk, will you? Get it from
the milk house where it is cool."
No sooner had Julia left the room than Mr.
Elston, looking steadily across the table at his
guest, asked, "Is your mother alivef "
"I am glad to hear that. Now then, young
man, what do you wanti"
Chester moved back from the table. There
was no use in hedging; this man was not to be
played with or fooled. He might as well boldly
declare what he came for.
"Come," urged the older man, "speak while
the girl is away. I don't want her to hear you —
that's why I sent her out."
"Well— my mother thinks she deserves some
support from you."
"And you have come out here to learn what I
have got -to see if it is worth while trying for?"
"Is your mother poorf Is she in need! '*
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 61
'No, sir; she is not—''
'If she is, I will help her."
She does not need help; but she wants her
rights— that is all— I—"
Just then Julia came in and placed the milk
on the table. She glanced at the two men who
had ceased eating and were in a strange mood.
The girl understood her father well, and it took
but a look and a slight movement of his head for
her to know that she was to leave them together.
*'I'm going up to my room," she said. You'll
call me if you want anything, won't youl"
"Yes, my girl."
As the door closed behind her on the upper
landing the two men again faced each other across
Two hours later, the two men left the room and
went out into the yard. Chester's team was
hitched ; he climbed into the buggy, and was all
ready to drive oflf.
''We'll part friends, Mr. Elston," said the
young man, holding out his hand— "1 should like
*'It will be a pleasure for me to be your friend
—yours and your mother's— if you will let me —
good afternoon . ' '
The buggy rolled out of the yard, and was
soon lost to sight down the hill. Hugh Elston
then walked slowly back to the house, went to
the foot of the stairs and called his daughter.
There was no response.
Everything was silent. He climbed the stairs,
pushed open the door, and there was Julia asleep
on her bed. He went softly up to her. There
were signs of weeping in her face. He turned to
leave her, but she awoke.
*'Is that you, father?"
"Yes, my girl. Did you have a good sleep!"
"No; I had an unpleasant dream." She sat up.
"You have been crying. What is it about?''
He patted her head and cheek.
She choked back tears that were in danger of
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 63
coining, but said nothing. **It's warm up here/'
she said. * 'Let's go down stairs."
"You had better finish your dinner," he
"I had all I wanted. Has he — Mr. Lawrence,
He just left."
'What was the matter with him and you, too?
Oh, father, I think you might tell me! You are
keeping something from me."
He went to the door and looked out. "Put on
your hat, and we will take a walk. The sun is
not so hot this afternoon.''
She obeyed, and together they took the path
out towards the little graveyard. There was
always a Sabbath stillness at Piney Eidge Cot-
tage, but Sunday afternoons had a solemnity dis-
tinct from the rest of the days. Then they were
usually alone, for they discouraged visiting by
never doing it themselves. It was a day of rest
with them. After Sunday School and meetings,
they spent the time in reading and talking, often
taking the book out to the grassy plat by the
graves. But this afternoon no book was taken,
and for a time very little was said. Julia had
not often seen her father so full of emotion,
and she wondered at it, blaming herself some-
what for her actions.
They sat down on the grass in the shade of the
bushes. The great, gray Flat lay before them,
forming the bottom of an ocean of clear air
64 PINEY RIDGE COTTAaE
stretching to the distant mountains. A crawling
speck was seen down below, leaving a trail of
dust behind: that was the departing visitor.
Away to the far horizon a streak of black con-
taminated the virgin air: that was the smoke
from the locomotive. Civilization brought foul-
ness as well as improvement in its wake.
*'My girl," began the father, *'I will tell you
this that you want to know."
"Don't, father, if it pains you. Forgive me for
**You ought to know now. I have kept it from
you long enough. I should have told you before,
perhaps, but I have never been able to bring
myself to it; but now this man Chester Lawrence
has come, and you must know the truth, and
know it from me."
Julia appeared afraid of something, afraid
that some revelation of dire results was to come.
The father guessed as much and said with a smile,
"My girl, it is nothing bad at all— nothing that
reflects discredit or dishonor on either of us."
**1 was alarmed for a moment— but go on,
"You already know that your mother was not
my first wife."
"Yes; you have told me that."
"Well, this was many years ago. My first wife
was Chester Lawrence's mother."
"I married her back in the states. I thought
PINEY RIDQE COTTAGE 65
she was a good woman— she was a erood woman,
one who had made a sad mistake, and was try-
ing hard to forget it, to live it down. She did
not tell me all her past until we were married.
I forgave her and told her I would help her, and
I did. I did all in my power. I am sure she
appreciated it then * * and we were happy.
**One day a 'Mormon' elder came to our house.
I was away at work, but my wife received his
tracts at the door. We read the tracts together,
and immediately understood them. It was as
though we had known the gospel which they
preached,but had forgotten it. For ajyear we did
not see another elder. Then when he did come,
we did not let him depart from our home until we
"Then we came west, locating down at Altone.
My wife left her boy behind. When he was a
few weeks old, she placed him with a near
relative, and there he grew up. I did not know
of it, as I told you, until the boy was two years
old. I told my wife that she could have her
chOd, and I would do for him the best I could;
but now the foster mother would not give him up.
So the mother had to leave him * * j never
saw the boy until this morning. Then I knew
it was he, for he has his mother's face and voice.
*'I had taken up some land at Altone; but in
those first years it was a struggle. 1 was new at
farming, being a carpenter by trade, and there-
fore had much to learn. Anna, my wife, tried
66 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
to bear her burdens patiently, but I could see
that they bore hard on her. She was naturally of
a disposition to look on the dark side of every-
thing, and that made things harder. She had
been brought up somewhat a 'lady,' in the com-
mon misuse of that term. She had to learn to
milk cows and do some other menial but neces-
sary work about our place, for I was not always
at home. These thing always grated on her, I
could see, so I spared her all I could. No child-
ren came to us. This was a great disappoint-
ment to me. One, two, three years went by. We
were doing fairly well on our farm. Anna kept
well in touch with her folks in the states, and on
a number of times she had asked if she
couldn't have her boy. She would come for him,
she said, but they were more eager than ever to
keep him, for they knew he would come to a
*Mormon' home, and they thought that would
be the greatest possible calamity.
*'Our nearest neighbor was a widow by the
name of Winston. She had an only daughter,
Agnes. Agnes and my wife became great friends.
My wife was five years older than the girl, but
this did not seem to make any difference in the
closeness of their friendship. They were much
together, and 1 encouraged it, because it gave
company for my wife, especially when I was
away working on the irrigation canal.
'*In those days, as you know, the principle of
plurality of wives was practiced by our people.
My wife, of course, knew of it, but that was one
subject we hardly ever discussed. I can see now
that I was at fault in that, for there ought never
to be anything that could not be freely talked
about between husband and wife. She knew that
I believed the principle theoretically, at least,
but I was not so sure of her,and I did not wish to
trouble her mind ; for truth to say, I had never
thought of taking another wife. 1 am speaking
plainly to you, Julia, so that you may under-
**The Widow Winston died suddenly, leaving
Agnes absolutely alone. Many friends came to
her assistance, and many offered to give her a
home, but she would not leave the little house
wherein she and her mother had lived. She
seemed to love the solitude, Julia, even as you
love it, and she was never afraid to stay all
alone away from any neighbors. Alone she
looked after the garden, cared for a large flock
of chickens, and drove the cows to and from the
pasture. Many times, I have no doubt, she was
lonesome and sad.
** About this time I was away much, having
taken a hauling contract, and so my wife had
Agnes stay with her. Together they milked and
churned and gathered the eggs, then my wife
going to Agnes' little house to do the same for
her. They talked on many things, those two,
and among the topics was that of plurality of
68 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
wives. Your mother told me about it after-
wards. My wife seemed to have had a feeling
that some day I would want another wife, and so
these two had agreed that if that time ever came,
Agnes was to be the one.
"Well, Agnes, pure, simple-hearted girl,
thought my wife meant what she said. After
that the girl came of tener to our house when 1
was home. She was not so shy of me as she had
been. We often spoke of the time when I was
the school teacher, and she spelled the school
down. The girl became livelier. She would
laugh at our jokes, and even crack some herself.
During the years of her development into
womanhood, she became a sweet-faced woman,
open-hearted and pure as the clearest air or the
sweetest-flowing stream in the mountains.
"Then something came to me, which was that
Agnes loved me. I could see it in every look,
every word, every movement. And that love
was just as pure as she herself was pure. That
secret and to her sacred compact made with my
wife had removed any bar, so that she had let
her love flow freely from the fullness of her great
heart. She lived in it. It fllled her whole being,
and in it she grew into that beautiful woman,
Hugh Elston arose from the grass, went over
to the low mound, and placed his hand caress-
ingly on the marble headstone. Then he looked
out over the valley to the disappearing trail of
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 69
dust, came back to Julia, and then continued:
*'When my wife came to understand the girVs
feelings, she turned on her. She did not try to
control herself, but she stormed terribly, flying
at the astonished and frightened Agnes in a ter-
rible rage, and accusing her of all that is vile and
mean. The poor girl fled.
" *Anna,* I said, 'What are you doing?'
"'I? I?' she shouted. 'It isn't I. It's you
and the girl that's doing; but I'll not stand for it!
Take her, marry her! I'm going.'
"I tried to reason with her, but that was use-
less. The poor woman seemed to have lost con-
trol over herself. I remained at home for days.
Agnes did not come near, and when on the fourth
day I went to her home, I found the house
locked, the cows driven to a neighbor's, the
chickens gone, and the garden drying up for
want of water. I went back and told my wife
what I had found.
" 'She hasn't gone far,' was all she said.
"The days dragged on miserably— and they
were black to me. Anna's love seemed to have
turned to hate. She would not go to meeting.
She would not join in prayer. She derided sacred
things. Agnes was gone— gone a long way— to
Salt Lake, I learned. She did not write, and I
did not know her address. I don't know what I
would have written had I known it. Months
It was just before the October conference.
70 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
when I proposed to Anna that we go to conference .
"'And you're going to find Agnes,' she
'I may try,' I said.
Then I shall not stop in Salt Lake— I'll go
with you, but I'll go farther— I'll go on East,
back home, to my boy — '
'We'll not go to conference, then.'
'Oh, yes,' she replied. 'Don't be a fool. I
know.' She thought she knew me, Julia, but
she didn't— she never did.
"We went to Salt Lake, my wife having her
trunk fully packed for a longer journey. I sup-
plied her with money, and she bought a ticket to
her home town. I said good-bye to her at the
depot. She was dry-eyed and the kiss she gave
me was cold — oh, I never knew until that hour
what a difference there is between the hea.rt cold
and hardened and the heart kept mellow by im-
plicit faith in the love of God. * * *
"I found Agnes working as a domestic in a
family. She was but the shadow of her former
self. She longed for the freedom of the open
and the wild, but she would not go home with
me, even though I told her all that had happened.
" 'No; she said, 'she may come back; no—
"There was no need of words to tell each
other our feelinsrs, so nothing was said— but we
"Anna wrote me a note, saying she had
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 71
arrived at home, where she was going to stay for
good. That was the last I ever heard of her
until her son talked to me this afternoon.
* 'Within a year I prevailed upon Agnes to
marry me. We drove all the way to St. George
to be married in the temple. Then we left Altone,
and came out here and laid the foundation of
Piney Ridge Cottage. It was she, your mother,
my girl, that first saw the twelve pines, that
gave the ridge, and later the house their names.
It was she who planted the little garden in front.
It was she who said, *We must build the house
big enough,f or Anna may some day want to come
back— and she shall have the best when she
does.' And it was that dear, brave, noble-
hearted mother of yours, whose earthly body lies
here amid the solitude that she loved, that wrote
to Anna asking her to come back and share
what we had of home and love."
The man could say no more, for the last words
were hard to utter. He bowed his head in his
hands, and Julia, with arm pressing the gray
head to hers of brown, mingled her tears
The sun went down. The Sabbath closed.
The father and daughter went silently hand in
hand along the path from the graveyard back to
Piney Ridge Cottage.
Chester Lawrence drove into the station at
Croft, and after disposing of the team, he went
into the only "hoteP' in the place. Much as he
disliked staying at a cheap railroad lodging
house, he would have to do it, because his train
would not be in until morning. He would much
rather have remained at Piney Ridge — ^but— .
After supper he went to his room. The day
had been warm, and he had passed through
some wearing experiences; he was, therefore,
tired. The flies with which the * 'hotel*' was
infested were settling on ceiling and hangings,
but the mosquitoes still buzzed about his ears.
Close the windows he could not, so the only
thing to do was to blow out the lamp and go to
But sleep did not come easily to Chester Law-
rence. The bed was not comfortable, and there
were the strange experiences of th© day to think
about. Sermons and religious services are sup-
posed to have a tendency to sleepiness, but a
review of those he had heard in that little house
out among the sage-brush had no such effect
on Chester. He could not understand why his
mother carried such hatred against these people
and their religion. He had been led to believe
that the ''Mormons" were closely akin to the
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 73
heathen, that they were not Christian in any
sense, and that the chief principle of their relig-
ion was polygamy. Why, he had not even heard
polygamy mentioned, let alone seeing it in full
swing in practice. Of course, he had not investi-
gated thoroughly, but as far as he had inquired
there were no polygamists in or around the Flat. It
was reported that one man away on the other
side of the hill had two wives, which rather than
desert in a time of past trouble, he had taken
with him to this wild region ; but that was the
only case known to the people of Croft. Simple
these *'Mormons" were, but not ignorant; unpol-
ished, some of them, but not rude; out of style
and not up-to-date, but not immoral. It was a
strange mixture. Then there were Mr. Elston
and his daughter — two fine people. His mother's
former husband, the only one she had ever had,
had told the young man much, and that young
man could not help thinking about it. Just a
small doubt came to him of his mother^s wisdom
in past actions. Then there was Julia — Gray's
lines came to him :
'*Full many a flower is bom to blush unseen.
And waste its fragrance on the desert air.'*
The picture of her as he had first seen her
reclining on the grass by her mother's grave was
recalled. She had been quite talkative that day,
but this day she had avoided him, hardly speak-
ing. At one time he had caught her big brown
74 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
eyes looking furtively at him. She, of course,
had been curious. Very likely she knew noth-
ing of her father's relationship to his mother.
The freight train rumbled by the station, mak-
ing the ramshackle * 'hotel" shake. Piney Ridge
Cottage faded in the light, and the young man
He awoke early, got up, washed and dressed.
He had hours yet to wait for breakfast and the
train. He would write to his mother :
I am here again at the station at Croft. Yester-
day I visited Piney Ridge Cottage, I came, I
saw, and was nearly conquered. I attended
church with the people on the Flat. In the first
place, you will have to give up any hope of com-
pellingMr. Elston to give any of his property to you
as a former wife — ^we have no chance whatever in
that direction. Besides, Mr. Elston is not rich
as we were led to believe. I think that perhaps
the way he lives, and the way he has fixed up his
home has led some to think that he must be well
oflE— but Piney Ridge Cottage and a few acres
surrounding it are all he has. I am sure of that.
But Mr. Elston is an uncommon man— above the
average. He may not be wealthy in this world's
goods, but he has something else— mother, I wish
I had more of it— character. This stands out
boldly in the man. One can feel it in his pres-
ence. I tried to be important and to be angry,
but I failed in each case. In his quiet, resource-
ful way he made me feel how little 1 was, on what
a little errand I had come. Mr. Elston knew me.
He said I had my mother's face and voice— these
he has not forgotten. I could |not deceive the
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 75
man ; he read my very thoughts, and so I gave up
trying to be sly or smart.
As I said, I visited their Sunday School and
church. I was on the road when I met Mr. Elston
and Julia, and by his invitation I acconipanied
them. I kept my eyes and ears open, but 1 failed
to hear or see anything bad. Miss Elston was the
teacher of the pnmary class ; Mr. Elston taught
the young men and older girls. In this class they
had a story from the Book of Mormon which you
might remember. It was about some two thou-
sand young men who had been taught by their
mothers to have such faith in God, that when it
came to a war for right and liberty not one of
them was slain in battle. It was interesting and
I think I shall get one of these Books of Mormon
to read. I don't remember ever having seen it
Well, after the meeting we all drove to Piney
Ridge, and there we had dinner. It consisted of
milk— cool and sweet and rich, and bread of
Julia's baking. I enjoyed it. Then Mr. Elston
and I had a long talk, and then and there,
mother, is when I learned much— much more
than you have ever told me. I suppose he told
me the truth — I could not doubt his statements
for thev agreed with and explained more fully
what I have known.
Don't think, mother, that I am finding fault
with you; I am not. You, no doubt, did just
right— you couldn't have done otherwise, but I
have been thinking what a pity some things are
as they are. I might have had a father m Mr.
Elston and a sister in Julia. But no, I don't
want— that could not be— I'm afraid I'm some-
what muddled, so I had better quit. I didn't
sleep well last nisrht.
76 PINEY BIDGE COTTAGE
I think that I shall remain in the country
some time yet. I like it, both up here, and in
and around Salt Lake. There are many splendid
openings for investment and money-making
here. I believe this is the coming country. I
wouldn't mind having a section or two of this
dry land, and they say there are some good min-
ing prospects in the hills. I'll write you again
when my plans are further matured. Meanwhile,
dear mother, forget all about Mr. Elston and all
that pertains to him. Live in peace and con-
tentment the rest of your life. I shall see that
you are never in need.
Your loving son,
It had been a "blue Monday" for Julia. All day
it had been an up-hill struggle. The lessons had
been poorly recited, the children had been rest-
less and noisy. There had been pin-sticking,
hair-pulling, cheating in spelling and copying in
arithmetic, all in one afternoon. The children
were to have remained to practice for the
closing exercises a week hence, but they had
been dismissed abruptly. Julia was very much
discouraged. She was glad her teaching was so
near its close.
But Julia was just going through the exper-
ience that all school teachers have gone through.
At the close of the day, with store of vitality
nearly exhausted, weak and discouraged, the
teacher vows that this term or year shall be the
last. She is not equal to the task, she says. She
Is a failure, anyway; but the mght works mir-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 77
acles. In the morning there is elasticity in her
step, a song in her heart, and she goes forth with
the strensrth and gladness of a new-born day.
Julia had experienced this, but for all that the
Monday had been bluer than ever. The fault had
been, no doubt, her own. She had been so full
of her father's story the evening before, that she
could not get her mind on her work.
The children scampered homeward, and the
schoolhouse became quiet. A new Harper^s
which the postman had delivered Saturday eve-
ning had not yet been opened. She took it from
her desk and tore oflE the wrapper. Julia liked
to open her magazines properly when she had
time to do it. There is much unsurfeited joy
in the magazine that comes to one through the
mail, clean, with the smell of new ink and the
uncut leaves—a joy that is not obtained by fre-
quenting the crowded book stalls of the cities.
Julia always began at the beginning to enjoy
her magazine. She looked leisurely at the front
advertising pages, and took quite an interest in
the announcement of new books. In this way
she became acquainted with many titles and
authors. Then came a long list of schools where
young men and young women were prepared for
the higher colleges. She wondered why these
schools did not prepare for life, instead of one
school preparing for another. Goins: to school
surely wasn't the end of existence ! These schools
were pictured as being situated amid beautiful
78 PINEY UID^E COTTAG^E
surroundings of forest and lake — she would like
to attend one of these.
Then with her pen-knife Julia cut the regular
pages, reading the headings and looking at the
pictures. Thus she went deliberately through
the magazine, not paying much attention to the
back page advertizements of steam engines and
Julia looked at her watch to see if she had time
to read any before going home. Just as she
decided that she had, she saw some one drive up
to the open door and look in at her.
"Hello, Julia!" shouted a young man from his
. Julia stepped to the door. "Well, Glen Curtis,
of all things! When did you get home?"
"Yesterday; and today I thought I would drive
around to see the new school teacher.'^ He
sprang to the ground, fastened his horse, and
came into the house. They shook hands, and
then walked up to the front, where Julia seated
herself behind her desk while Glen reclined on a
"Well, and how do you like it by this time?"
"I don't like it a bit today; but I may like it all
"Yes; I know; you're right. It's an up and
down business, isn't it? One day you're up in
the clouds, the next you're down in the deepest
dumps: but we'll have our reward— in heaven."
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 79
Glen was always such a jolly fellow, and his
cheerful face and merry mood were bringing
Julia's spirits back again.
She and Glen had been good friends for years,
and many a time as boy and girl, looking after
the grazing cows, they had met at the pole fence
and talked over the "serious problems of life."
She had not seen him for two years, and how
big and manlike he had become ! She questioned
him about his doings, and he told her that he
had been teaching school in one of the southern
counties. He had to do it to get money enough
to go on with his own schooling, he explained.
'*Well, I'm teaching for the experience," said
"And you're getting it, I understand. I want
to give you fair warning. The trustees are after
you. I heard it from Sis, who heard it from
Mary Sanders, who heard it from her father, the
trustee. So it must be straight."
"What have you heard?"
"Well, there are three serious charges against
you : First, that you teach reading without first
teaching the alphabet ; second,that you do not drill
on the multiplication table backwards ; third that
you and the school children play in the mud
when you ought to be in the schoolhouse study-
ing your lessons. Are you guilty or not guilty?"
I plead guilty to all but the last charge. We
were studying geography down by the spring.
80 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
getting concepts, or some such things, in the
natural way. Anyway, it was the best lesson
I ever presented— but those stupid trustees didn't
He laughed heartily at her, and then told some
of his own experiences. "One of the trustees
down where I've been teaching thought I was
earning my money too easily. He had no idea
that a man could work with his brain, nor did he
understand the nervous strain resulting from the
working of mind with mind. He knew that if
his hoe came in contact with the clods in his gar-
den frequently enough the hoe would wear out,
because the hoe and the clods were material. He
used to tell me when I made fun of his poor
plowing, that a crooked furrow, being longer than
a straight one, would grow more potatoes. Well,
I remember one afternoon, as I was going home
after school, listless, fagged out, hardly able to
drag one foot after the other, I passed this man
working in his garden. He was a big, muscular
fellow, his body full of red blood. Leaning on
his hoe, he observed me coming, and when oppo-
site him he said, 'Well, you school teachers have
a slick time, don't you? You go to work at nine
in the morning and quit at four in the afternoon.
We farmers have to work from daylight to dark.'
** 'Well, you don't look any the worse for it,' "
I replied, as I passed— but that's the idea some
**But, say Glen, this is new business for me.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 81
What about these charges the trustees hold
^'They're silly — foolish. As soon as the super-
intendent hears of them, he^U tell the trustees
what's what. I should judge," said he, looking
around critically at the room and then at her,
that you are a pretty good teacher."
Oh, thank you— but you always were such a
tease. How long are you going to stay at home
"Just a few days. I've a job coming, and I
must be off again. Say, how are the roads up
toward Piney Ridge?"
But it^s cool and green at the other end of the
"You mean at our end?'*
"Yes, at Piney Ridge Cottage."
Well, yes*'— she paused and then laughed—
cool and green," she repeated, "well, I never!"
What's the joke?'*
Nothing, nothing. I'll have to be going.
It's time I was off."
They passed out together, he helping to hitch
her horse. When she was seated, he handed her
"I understand you have your closing program
"I*m coming, if I may."
82 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
"Why, of course; but I warn you, you wonH see
She touched the horse with the lines, and he
moved away from the wheels.
"I'll see you," said Glen.
There were two ways by which one could go
from Piney Ridge to Rock Creek. The first was
by the wagon road, around the base of Old
Thunder Mountain and across the low divide.
The second followed a dimly marked road up
Dry Canyon, thence across the upper divide, then
down the creek to the settlement. The latter
route cut the distance in two, but it took just as
long to traverse, because of the diflSculties of the
Julia had an errand at Rock Creek— to see
when the threshers would be on their way around
the mountain to Piney Ridge. She took the
upper route. She had all day, if necessary, to
make the trip, and the *'Call of the wild," drew
her into the mountains. Her poney was sure-
footed and newly shod. It was an ideal autumn
day, the mountain being decked out in colors of
yellow and red and brown. She made an early
start, and by ten o'clock she was climbing the
trail up from Dry Canyon. Soon she left the
tinted serviceberry and the odorous "squaw-
berry" bushes and reached the birches. The air
was full of the wild odors only to be found on the
high mountains. Weeds, grasses and bushes
were strange here, Julia not knowing their names
or nature. She supposed that botanists had
84 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
penetrated even to this wilderness and had classi-
fied all this vegetation, giving it Latin names,
bnt she knew weeds only by their pungent smell
or their beautiful flowers; the grass she knew
was good for cattle and the brush for sheep.
Up the steeper places she led her pony, paus-
ing to rest on the rounded knoll, wind-swept and
free from brush, where she could look back upon
her trail and over the country she had left
Isn't this glorious!" she exclaimed half aloud.
It's good to get 'up above the world so high.' '*
Directly below her lay the foothills, at the foot
of which Piney Eidge appeared as a speck of
green— then the Flat hardly discernible through
the haze. Away oflE towards the western hori-
zon some prospective dry-land farmers were
burning the sage-brush, and its smoke besmeared
the air in that direction. She could now see the
high mountains beyond the Flat, and the canyon
through which the railroad passed. Above her
reared Old Thunder. Great banks of snow still
lay in the deeper ravines on the north, and the
clusters of black pines were still in a "high state
"All right, Bess," said Julia to her pony. "We
must go. Just a couple more climbs, then it will
be down hill and then we'll have a drink from
On the summit of the High divide Julia and
her horse rested again. She sat on a rock with
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 85
the bridle reins in her hand. Throwing her hat
on the ground, she let the breeze play unhindered
with her hair. And now from her high position,
alone, far away from the world, she thought of
many things that had recently forced themselves
upon her. There was an element of restlessness in
her feelings. She was not altogether satisfied with
herself or the life she had been leading. What
did she know of the world? She had lived all her
days amid sage-brush plains and wild mountains.
She knew very few people. And, ah, there were
so many feelings within her, pent up for so
long struggling now and then to be released.
That hour they seemed to be fighting harder than
ever for freedom. Freedom for what? She did
not know. She did not understand the nature of
her longings, but she knew they were real, and
were fraught with peculiar heartaches. Could
she but fly from her prison! Away over the
barrier of mountains, to the world, to the big
cities filled with people ! What a sight it would
be to stand on some street comer and see strange
people go by all day, hundreds— thousands of
them— and never the same one twice! How
many different faces there must be in the world !
And the big, smooth flowing rivers and the
ocean! How she would like to see the ocean
stretching out to the sky like some places in the
Flat, bearing white sails and big, smoking
steamers coming and going to and from every
country on the earth! Oh, yes, she had seen
86 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
pictures of these things, she had read of them,
and she had lived with them in imagination; but
she wanted the real now. The visions of the
brain . did not satisfy. She wanted to feel with
her hands, to see with her eyes, to hear with her
natural ears. She was hungry and thirsty — ^but
Twice only had she been to Salt Lake City, the
last visit some years ago. A father's cousin
whom she knew slightly as Aunt Jane, lived
there, but there had been very little communica-
tion between them. Her year at the County Seat
attending school had bro.ught her the most
friends, but even these were fast vanishing into
forgetfulness. Friends, new friends, perhaps
that was what she wanted. Her father had told
her she might go to school again next year^— learn
to become a teacher, as the superintendent had
suggested. She hadn't thought of it with much
favor — but now —
The pony pulled hard on the reins, trying to
reach a bunch of grass.
"All right, Bess, we'd better go," said Julia,
as she mounted and began the slow descent
She followed a trail back and forth down the
hillside until she reached the bottom of the hill
where Bock Creek tumbled clear and cold over
its bed of stones. Again the girl dismounted, and
she and her horse drank of the sweet water.
Julia bathed her face and hands, letting the water
flow through her fingers.
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 87
This side of the mountain was better watered.
The creek, fed from the melting snows of Old
Thunder, never ran dry, making it possible for a
dozen families to live along its banks down in
the valley. Willows lined the banks, and small
mountain trout darted about in the clear water of
the stream. A well-defined road hugged the
stream, winding around sharp precipices and
under overhanging rocks. In the depths of the
willows were cool, mossy banks, fringed with
Julia had jogged along leisurely for half an
hour enjoying the sylvan character of the canyon
and the music of the hurrying stream, when on
rounding a big rock she came suddenly upon a
man leading a horse that could hardly walk for
lameness. The girl was not frightened, but she
drew back, startled for a moment. She was
further surprised when the man turned and she
saw that it was Chester Lawrence. He, too, was
somewhat startled, so they stood still and looked
at each other for a moment. Then he lifted his
hat and said, "What are you doing here on this
side of the mountain?"
**I am on my way to Rock Creek," she replied.
**You're not lost then?"
**I — lost? Oh, no; this is a familiar road
**I wish it were to me; then perhaps I should
not have lamed my horse.''
**He's bad, T see How did it happen?'*
88 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
*'I was trying to go too fast and he stumbled—
nearly broke his leg, I think.
Julia looked critically down at the injured leg.
*'Poor horse," she said— "but what are you doing
He looked at here. Well, yes, she had as much
right to ask that question as he— * 'I'm prospect-
ing," he explained.
Prospecting? What for?"
1 didn't know there was any gold in these
"Nor I, until a few days ago. Now I think
there is. I've been at work up here a week. I
was just going to Rock Creek for some tools when
the accident happened. I'll have to trudge along
slowly. You're in a hurry, I suppose — I wish
Oh, I'm not, I have plenty of time."
Then you would just as soon walk your horse
and keep me company. It's pretty lonesome out
"Yes— I know."
As there were two paths now made by the
wheels of wagons the two could be side by side
as they talked. Julia from her point of vantage
on horseback could well see the man, and she
noted him carefully. Yes, her first impression
of him was correct— he was good-looking. The
mountain sun and air had browned him since she
had first seen him.
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 89
**I thought you were interested in land," she
said, innocently speaking what first came to her.
**Well, I was; but I have given that up now.
I think there are big prospects for mining here.
1 have a couple of pretty good-looking holes
already up there towards Old Thunder."
There was silence for some time. Julia was
thinking all sorts of wild things— thoughts that
would not do to utter. They went so far as to
imagine this big, handsome man taking her away
from the prison of her mountain home to the
big, bustling world without. And he, as he
glanced at the graceful figure on the horse, also
let his fancy run free. He had never seen quite
such a girl before. This nut-brown nymph of
the mountains, simple as nature, pure as the crys-
tal stream, untutored in the worldly schools of
society, yet displaying a keen knowledge of
many things. This he had learned from their first
conversation that day by the graves. Did she
know, thought he, of his own early history? Had
she been told the part his mother had played in
her father's life?
**You were not very talkative the Sunday I
visited at Kney Ridge," he said.
** Father did the talking," she replied. *' Young
people should be still when older and wiser peo-
ple are talking. ' '
*'I did a good deal of the talking," he sug-
'Well, I'll abide by my statement."
90 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
**Thank you," he laughed; **but I did want to
ask you some questions about what I saw and
heard at your Sunday gatherings."
"Father is the one to ask about those things.
He knows all about them."
*'And so do you. You who have grown up here
among your people and have had your religion
bom and bred into you ought to give a better
account of it than any one from the outside. You
know I have found from my limited experience,
that if I want to get'the straight of anything,! must
get it first hand. Second-hand information takes on
more or less of the nature of the medium through
which it passes. If I want to know the truth about
the doctrine of free-will and predestination I go
to the Presbyterians ; if I wish to be informed on
transubstantiation, I learn it from the Cath-
*'I never heard of these long-named things,"
''Therefore, it would.be very foolish for me to
go to you for information regarding them. Now,
before I came out here I thought I knew all about
the 'Mormons' and 'Mormonism,' but it was all
very much biased and colored— second and third
"What religion do you belong to?" asked Julia,
thinking she might as well know this while they
were talking on the subject.
The young man looked up quickly at her and
smiled good-naturedly; but she was in earnest.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 91
He saw that she asked simply because she wanted
**Well, I don't think I belong to any church
now. I believe I was christened in the Methodist
church, but during school days, and since, I have
not thought about religion much— I am sorry to
say" — ^this last he thought he ought to add though
it was not quite the truth.
* 'I' ve neverjassociated with any e else but Lat-
ter-day Saints —you know we call ourselves that,
not *Mormons,' though I've no objection to being
called a *Mormon.' Mormon was a good man,
and the Book of Mormon is a great and good
**I believe you— yes; I've been reading this
Book of Mormon. I got interested in the lesson
given by your father that Sunday, so I got a copy
and have been reading it up here in the moun-
tams during resting times."
**As I was going to say," resumed Julia, com-
ing back to an unfinished thought, *'I have never
spoken to any one in my life, that I can now
remember, who was not a * Mormon' — until you
came. So, according to your theory, I ought to
be pretty good authority on 'Mormonism'— and
on nothing else. But I fear I would be a poor one
to give any information on that subject."
They came to a crossing where Chester had to
mount his horse to get across. While in the
stream, they stopped to let their horses drink.
On the other side, Chester again dismounted
92 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
and bathed his horse's lame leg in the cool water.
Julia alighted also, tightened her saddle girth,
and then stood watching her companion. When
he led his horse from the stream and proffered to
help her on her pony, Julia said she was going to
walk for a while.
"Speaking of books," said Julia as they
walked along with horses following, * 'father has
been very careful in his selection. We have a
lot of them at home. I think I have read every
one of Miss Alcott's books. Of course, you
wouldn't read such.''
He acknowledged that he had not, at any rate.
*'When I was away from home that year at-
tending school, I read some books that I'm sure
father would not have considered wise. I remem-
ber one or two leaving a terrible impression on
my mind, and I did so want to talk to some one
about them. There were a good many things in
them that I could not understand ; but all the way
through, you know, this thought would come to
me: Oh, why did not these people understand
the gospel? All this suflEering would then have
oeen avoided. All the terrible doubts and fears
and misunderstandings could easily have been
"What books were they I"
"One was Matthew Arnold's 'Nemesis of
Faith,' another was Mrs. Deland's 'John Ward,
Preacher.' Mrs. Ward's 'Robert Elsmere' was
not so bad, but these and others were all sad
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 93
enough. I think Mrs. Ward is a wonderful
writer; and those English authors that tell of
English country life just charm me. It must be
beautiful over there. Have you ever been to Eng-
He had not. Had he ever read *' John Ward.
Preacher/' if so, what did he think of the preach-
er's actions in leaving his wife?
* 'You've got me again," he laughed. **The
school I went to didn't teach religion or the
things of the heart. That's the difEerence in your
training and mine."
They came in view of the houses of Rock
Creek. * 'We're soon there," remarked Julia.
*'The road has been short and very pleasant,
thanks to you. Miss Elston. I wanted to
talk to you further, I really did— about your
religion— but we won't have time today. I hope
I shall see you again soon. How long do you
**0h, I'm going back tomorrow."
''I think so."
•'Perhaps I may have company again then. 1
must get back to my digging tomorrow."
"Why— why, I guess so."
"Good. When shall we start?"
"It had better be before noon sometime— say
"All right, I'll watch for you."
Julia did not realize what she was saying and
94 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
doing. Chester Lawrence's presence did not
create any fear. He did not appear to her as a
stranger, rather as if she had known him a long
time. They came to the parting roads where
they must separate. The sun was nearing the
western hills. She had been a long time making
this trip, longer than ever before. Still they
Miss Elston," said he, slowly and earnestly,
I want you to trust me. I am a stranger, I
know, but I want you to trust me as a true friend."
Oh, I do, Mr. Lawrence."
Thank you. You shall never regret it. We
want to be good friends."
'*Why, yes; you are, you know— a kind of
brother to me."
He looked into her innocent face, and his heart
burned within him as it had never done before.
"You know, then— you know?" he asked.
**Yes, I know. Father has told me the whole
"And knowing, you can still call me brother?"
"Why, yes; it is for that reason that I can. I
never had a brother, you know."
"And I never had a sister. I thank you. May
you never regret calling me brother— or more.
Here, let me help you to your saddle."
She sprang lightly to her horse ignoring his
proflEered help. **Good night," she said as she
galloped oflE. He stood looking after her a few
moments, then with his own lame horse he took
the other road.
The air is usually cool and crisp until ten
o'clock in that high altitude, especially in the fall
of the year. Julia's coat was well buttoned as
she galloped against the breeze up the road to
meet Chester Lawrence. He was already wait-
ing for her, astride another horse with a pack at
"Good morning," he gave greeting ; "you are
on time. I was thinking it was perhaps a little
early to have you come out."
"Oh, no, I'm used to getting up early."
They fell into the road side by side, and Chester
could not help noticing the riding cap on her shape-
ly head, the snug-fitting coat, the gray skirt and
thick-soled shoes. She sat gracefully on her
horse as they galloped along,Chester's light pack
allowing him to do this.
The young man was happy that morning as he
seemed to live in the fullness of life : the grandeur
of the mountains, the bracing air, the feeling of
freedom, and then the close companionship of
the girl who had already touched his heart. Per«
haps it was this latter fact that had trans-
muted the wilderness of mountain and plain to a
region of enchantment.
But what about the girl herself? Was she not
very foolish to thus accompany a comparative
stranger for a day in the mountains? Yes, she
96 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
certaiiily was taking: risks; but in this instance,
thanks be to the Lord^there was no danger. Ches-
ter Lawrence, though worldly in many ways, was
yet a pure man. As a fifteen year old boy
he had discovered the mystery regarding his lack
of a father, and the years following that discov-
ery he had thought much of what it meant. Who-
ever, wherever his father was, he had b^fon
to hate him, and all such as he. As he grew to
understanding, he resolved to himself that never
would he be guilty of the sin of his father. It
had not been altogether easy for him, for he had
been thrown into many Idnds of society; but he
strengthened himself in many ways. He avoided
the company of immoral boys ; he would not lis-
ten to **smutty" stories; he trained himself to
think pure thoughts; he chose his books care-
fully; and never attended the cheap, low-class
shows of which the cities were full. All this may
appear somewhat far-fetched for a modem boy
in modem America, but it is true nevertheless.
Chester made this thing his hobby. It became
the ruling thought of his life, until now at a
man's age the habit of chastity had become fixed.
He now realized more fully what he had won. He
had retained his manhood. He was not a craven,
a slave to passion. He was free in very deed,
free in spirit and in body, and he glorified in his
freedom and his strength. He could look any pure
man or woman unflinchingly in the eye. What a
glorious privilege was this !
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 97
And Julia, pure as the angels — and naturally
so. Her purity was simply the retaining of a
childhood heritage. She had had no need of
strenuous effort to retain that priceless boon.
Purity had grown with her growth ; it was a part
of her being. Though innocent, she was not alto-
gether ignorant. She had learned much from
the girls' classes in the Mutual Improvement
Association, and in her reading she had learned
that there is a sin of unchastity, terrible in its
oflEects ; but it had appealed to her as something
afar off from her— something pertaining to the
big world beyond the mountains and not to her
simple life at Piney Ridge Cottage.
So there was no danger to those two as they
rode up the mountain path that morning. Each
protected by the armor of virtuous thoughts and
pure deeds these two could safely go anywhere
'*Isn't this a glorious morning?" asked Julia.
"I think there's nothing quite so lovely as a
beautiful autumn day."
"Especially up here in the mountains,''
*'I have often wondered whether the sea is as
beautiful as the mountains. Have you ever been
on the seal"
"1 have been near the sea a number of times,
but never taken an extended trip on it."
"I understand it's awful to be seasick. I have
heard the missionaries that have been to Europe
tell of it."
98 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
The mention of missionaries seemed to provide
a good opening for talking along the line he had
wanted, Dut it was difficult to keep up a con-
nected conversation from the backs of galloping
horses. Presently they came to the steeper
hills, so the horses were reined in to a walk.
"Yesterday," said he, "you remember we were
speaking of religion, and I wanted you to tell me
about yours. Why not do that now?"
"Oh, Mr. Lawrence," she excliaimed in alarm,
"I can't; I don't know how— you will have to
read about it from books."
"Books are dead things; you are alive— your
life is a living religion. All you need to do is
just to talk — ^tell your thoughts and feelings and
hopes, and that will be your religion— that will be
She looked at the rider by her side, not quite
understanding him. "What shall I talk about?"
she asked. "How shall I begin? Father has said
that he was going to have me called on a mis-
sion to preach the gospel. I guess it's already
here," she said merrily.
"Yes; your mission has commenced, and I'm
your first congregation. But does your church
send ladies on missions?'*
"Sometimes. I'd like to go."
"Perhaps you will. Practice on me. But seri-
ously, perhaps I can help you by asking you some
"I wish you would."
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 99
**Well, what is *Monnoiiism?'— but that's a poor
beginning. The question's too big."
**Wait— I believe I can answer it." She
thought for a moment -then she said, " 'Mormon-
ism,' or in other words, the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, is life— my life, your life, everybody's
life — eversrthing from the time long before we
came to this earth until we get to heaven — that
is, to the celestial kingdom."
**Well, I must say that your answer is about as
broad as my question. But you said 'before we
came to this earth.' What does that mean?"
"Why, this life isn't the beginning. We lived
in a spirit world before we were bom."
"And before that?"
"Before that spirit world. Where was the
"Oh, there's never been any beginning. Of
course there are beginnings of certain events and
conditions, but that's not any real beginning, any
more than there can be an end. There can't be
any such things, just as there can't be any begin-
ning to time or space— but these things are too
deep for me. I always get lost when I try to
think about them. You'll have to read Joseph
Smith and Orson Pratt on these subjects."
He was about to ask about Orson Pratt, but
did not wish to lead away from the subject in hand.
"You know," she continued, "we lived with
our Heavenly Father and Mother in that spirit
100 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
world. Then the earth was made for us, and we
were sent here to get bodies, and to become per-
fect like unto our heavenly parents. We, that
is our spiritual selves, mufet have bodies in which
to dwell. This earth is like a school, where we
learn things that we could not learn in the spirit
world. We must obey the gospel and then live
good lives, so that we may be saved.''
What is the gospel?''
Don't you know? Well, the first principle is
faith, then repentance, then we must be baptized
and be confirmed members of the Church."
"What is being saved?"
This seemed too much for the fair preacher.
She knitted her brows and looked wise for a time
"Now I remember what father said it is : 'To be
saved is to conquer all our enemies.' "
It was the young man's turn to knit the brow.
I don't quite understand," he said.
I don^t either, but it's something like this : A
quick temper is an enemy. If a person can con-
trol a quick temper, he is saved from many
unpleasant things. I remember father using that
illustration to me— I needed it. Tobacco and
whisky are enemies to men. When men over-
come these enemies, they are saved from the evil
they bring. And so on to everything."
"I see," said he; "yes, that's true. I can carry
the principle out further. Every sin is an enemy.
When we overcome every sin — ^when sin has no
more power over us — then we are saved."
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 101
1 see also that this sort of reasoning will
not allow of ignorance. One must learn the laws
of nature and of God, so as to be fortified
against breaking them. Is not that true?"
*'Yes; Joseph Smith taught that a man is
saved no faster than he gets knowledge."
*'And this makes salvation a continuous pro-
cess, and not something that can come to one in-
stantaneously. It's certainly more reasonable.
Now, what do you understand by heaven?*'
"Well, when every sin, every enemy has been
conquered, then we are in heaven, aren't we?"
1 suppose so, but—"
Sickness, and sorrow, and death are caused
by sin. When these are no more, then we are in
"Can that be reached here — on this earth, in
"Not altogether. We must all die, but we are
promised a resurrection; and this earth also will
become pure and holy as our bodies will be. Then
heaven will also be a place as well as a con-
They had now reached the steep climb up to
the divide. His trail led in another direction;
but he was not willing that they should separate
yet. What were gold mines found in rocks to
this one in the soul of a sweet girl 1
"Wouldn't you like to see my mine?" he asked.
*'It isn't far away, and you have plenty of time."
102 PlNEVr BIDaE COTTAGE
"Can I get across the hill back to my trail?"
"Yes; from that ridge yonder you can see
Piney Ridge Cottage, and the road is plainly
"Yes; I have been there many times and
looked down on you."
"I'd like to see a gold mine," she said as she
pulled her horse into his trail. "Go ahead. I'll
The discussion on theology had to be aband-
oned. The climb was steep, and the latter part
of the way they dismounted and walked.
"You'll not see a mine," he explained; "only a
prospector's hole. After awhile perhaps I can
show you a mine."
Up they climbed, pausing to rest now and
then. The waters of Rock Creek became a faint
murmur below them. They walked carefully
around jagged rocks, and picked their way over
beds of broken stone. At last they came to a
little flat on which was a small tent.
"Here we are!" shouted Chester. "Welcome
to Old Thunder mining camp."
The miner fastened his horse, and then relieved
Julia of hers. He brought from the tent a box,
which he placed for her. "Here, sit and rest
while I get a lunch for us."
She remonstrated, but he said it was noon and
eating time. The dinner would be simple, not
having the cream and milk of Piney Ridge Cottage
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 103
to draw from. He busied himself in and around
the tent, and soon the lunch was ready, spread
on another box near the tent. '*I won't oflfer you
canned milk," he said, "and 1 know you do not
drink coflfee, but here's water which your famous
spring down home cannot beat."
*' Where's the minef ' she asked, as she took a
"Just around that ledge. We'll see it after din-
ner. These peaches are good." he said as he
dished some from a can. "I know, or I wouldn't
oflfer you them."
"They are just lovely," she agreed.
They were high up on Old Thunder's side,
much higher than Julia had ever been. They
could see over a low range of mountains into an-
other valley and then across that to another range.
Rock Creek village lay below them,the water from
the stream making a long line of green into the
distant plain. The autumn haze filled the
distance. The morning breeze had ceased.
Silence and solitude enveloped the man and
the woman on the moimtain.
He lay half reclining on the ground on the
opposite side of the cracker-box table. After he
was through eating, he wanted to smoke, but he
would not do it in her presence. "It's easy to be
good with you," he said to himself, and would
have liked to say it to her.
'You live in Chicago, don't youf ' asked she.
'Yes, when I am at home."
104 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
^That's a big city, I understand."
"Yes, big, and black, and noisy. I want to
tell you what came to my mind just now."
"All right," she suggested after he had gazed
out into space for a time.
"I was just thinking that out here on the
mountains i§ the ideal place to commune with
God, whether chat God is the life of the world and
lives in all nature, or whether, as some hold, the
inner man himself is the Supreme Being. Here
one gets away from all distracting influences,
and there is a feeling of calm and rest. Right in
the thick of Chicago's bustle and roar and dirt
there is a Catholic Church. Its door is always
open, as are all Catholic churches, and any one
may go in at any time to rest and pray. You
know, sometimes I have slipped in there, not to
pray, but just to rest. The light comes dim and
mellow through the stained-e:lass windows. There
is a hush, and quiet thoughts take one away
from the world. I am reminded of that far-off
church now, here in the quietness of this moun-
1 thought you said you are not religious.''
'I am not, not in the way I have been taught
religion ; perhaps I could be here in the moun-
tains, with— with you people."
"Come to Sunday School, or go down to Rock
Creek, that being nearer — but I am forgetting
myself. I must be going.'*
He fetched her horse, and then they went
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 105
around the ledge to look at the mine. It was, as
he had said, just a big hole in the side of the
mountain. He picked up some pieces of ore-
bearing rock, and tried to find gold traces with
his microscope for her to see ; but not an indica-
tion could he find.
"I have found some traces," he explained, *'but
I shall have to go deeper to determine if there's
anything worth while."
Then he accompanied her across the ravine
and up to the ridge from which he pointed out
the trail leading out into Dry Hollow. It was not
steep, so she could ride, and he helped her into
**Good-by,'* she said, as she reached out her
hand. "Thank you for your company."
"The pleasure has all been mine,*' he replied.
"When may I see you againl"
"Oh, I don't know when I shall go to Rock
Creek again; but you may come to our meeting.'*
"And to Piney Ridge Cottagel"
"I— I don't know; but Til ask father."
"No; don't do that. I'll come to Sunday
School— good-by. I wish I could see more of
you. I wish I could be more in your company—
you help me so."
"Yes; you help me against my enemy; and I
believe now that I must have some help to be
saved. 1*11 tell you sometime about that — I'll tell
106 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
younow that it's easy to be good where you are."
Why, Mr. Lawrence— I—''
^No ; you don't understand ; but never mind ;
it's true nevertheless. Now you'll have to go;
but you'll help me, won't you?"
'* Why, certainly. I'm your sister, don't for-
get." Her horse was already picking his way
carefully down the hill. Chester stood and
watched her, tempted to say more ; but he only
said before she got out of hearing :
* I'll not forget."
Chester Lawrence did not discover in the
mountains any gold worth speaking of; but he
found riches in books that give joy unspeakable
here and can be laid up as treasures in heaven.
He spent less time digging and more time read-
ing. After finishing the Book of Mormon, he
borrowed more books from the farmers of Eock
Creek, one of whom had a copy of Orson Pratt's
works, which Chester obtained. What a mine of
wealth he found in it ! His mind was somewhat
of a philosophic turn, but never had he applied it
to the study of theology. He had come to be-
lieve that religion and philosophy had nothing in
common, but here in these '*Mormon" books he
found the most profound philosophical reasoning
applied to theological subjects. A new field of
thought opened up before him, and the eyes of his
understanding ranged far over the spiritual world,
as did his natural eyes look down on the natural
world from the mountains.
With book in hand the young man often went
to the elevation from which he could look
down on Piney Ridge Cottage. There he would
sit, read, and think. What a peculiar pass he
had come to! He, the dweller in cities, the trav-
eler on railroads now living contentedly on a
lonely mountain ! He who had been sent to spy
108 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
out the land, as it were, for some promised Ca-
naan — was he being taken captive by the Canaan-
ites? He who had been taught from his infancy
to hate the so-called "Mormon" people and their
religion was now wrapped up in them and study-
ing that religion with an eagerness and a delight
that he had never displayed in anything before.
What would his mother say when she heard of it?
Then a doubt crept into his mind regarding
the wisdom of his mother's action in leaving this
man Elston. What if he might have taken an-
other wife? It was bad enough to be sure, but
there could be worse things— he had seen much
worse conditions. This man had loved his mother,
would have continued to love her and provide for
hei^-and he was a man — a big, clean, pure man.
He had taken his mother, forgiven her, cherished
her, given her an honorable name. He, himself,
might have had a father's name. Well, he didn't
know. He would not condemn his mother. She
had suffered, and if the truth were known, she
had repented many times of her doings in this
thing. Yet, she had kept her heart hard. She
had been bitter towards her former people— and
Chester could not quite understand that. Save,
perhaps, for this principle of plural marriage,
which was now no longer practiced, he could not
see what objection people could have to "Mor-
monism." As far as he had read, he had found
nothing but what was good and true and beauti-
ful. Then how could it be possible that a people
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 109
who had purity, honor, integrity, love of God — in
fact, all the Christian virtues bom and bred in
them— how could it be possible that such a peo-
ple could be fundamentally bad? He could even
admit that such a people could practice a plural-
ity of wives in a much different way and for dif-
ferent motives than the world at large could.
Chester looked down on Piney Ridge. With
his glass, he could distinguish the house from the
bam, and the garden from the field ; but he was
too far away to see any moving figures, though
he tried. That spot of green contained a fasci-
nating attraction for him. What was Julia doing
this afternoon? Did she help her father in the
fieldl He knew they worked much together, he
in the house and she outdoors. The harvesting
was on, and help was hard to get. She was not a
large girl, but her well-shaped limbs, firm and
hardened would not easily tire. He had never
met such a girl — such a combination of qualities
and capabilities, some of which he had always
heard lay wholly outside woman's sphere. She
was not educated as a school girl ; she did not
have the polish of the society girl ; her dress was
not in style ; her language was imperfect ; and
yet there was something about her that appealed
to this man of the world— something he could not
describe— something not discernible to the five
senses. He did not know what it was, only there
was a bitter-sweet burning in his heart when he
thought of Julia Elston.
110 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
What was he studying "Mormonism'' fori he
asked himself. Was it for Julia, or for the truth
it containedl He examined himself closely, and
was glad when he could truthfully say Julia or no
Julia, these principles appealed to him. Of
course, the girl lent a certain zest to it all ; she
was the inspirer, she had introduced him to these
Chester arose, went down the ridge towards his
camp. He would have to quit his digging, at
least for the present, until he could get means to
go down deeper. But he was loath to leave. The
wild had obtained a hold on him. He hated the
thoughts of going back to Chicago.
He walked out on another ridge, following it
until he came to where it dipped into a big round
valley. It was aptly called Sage Valley, for
there was nothing but sage-brush in it, from
rim to rim, five miles apart. Near the end of the
ledge was a narrow pass,containing great rocks of
peculiar shapes. Some stood like rains of medi-
8Bval castles, some contained rounded-out holes
big enough to hold half a dozen persons. Here,
thought Chester,- a hundred men could with-
stand an army. Perhaps in this very spot the
Nephites and Lamanites fought some of their
desperate battles. The valley was desolation
itself. Even Indians, he had been told, avoided
it. How long had it lain thus, scorching under
the summer sun, buried under the winter snows?
How long would it yet remain without the touch
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 111
of human hands, without the sound of human
sighs or laughter !
Day after tomorrow he would move his camp
down to Rock Creek and next day he would visit
Julia's Sunday School as he had promised.
Sunday morning Chester rode on horseback
along the lower road to the schoolhouse. He
arrived early. A number of young men were
straightening the seats, dusting them and getting
the books from the cupboard in the comer. Then
one by one the teams drove up and the people
greeted each otlier pleasantly. The talk was
mostly on the subject of threshing, which was then
in full swing. Chester took a seat in the comer
where he had been before. The superintendent
recognized him again and chatted with him a few
moments. Then came Mr. Elston and Julia.
Julia walked past him,but her father went up and
shook his hand. Then Julia came back and did
likewise. Soon the school was in full swing, after
which came the usual meeting. Among the
speakers was a young man, Glen Curtis by name,
called from the congregation, who he learned
was a resident of the Flat and who had been
away from home teaching school. He spoke on
the need of education, showing how the Latter-
day Saints believe in and provide for it.
After the services, Mr. Elston asked Chester
to accompany them home, which request he
gladly accepted; but he was not the only guest.
Either by Julia's invitation or one of his own, the
112 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
young preacher also mounted his horse and fell in
behind the Elston buggy. Julia saw them look
at each other strangely, so she asked her father
to introduce them to each other, which he did.
They immediately fell to talking pleasantly until
they arrived at Piney Ridge Cottage. Julia hur-
ried into the house while the three men attended
to the horses, and then took their time to look
"I haven't much of a wheat crop this year,"
explained Mr. Elston, and sometimes I have
quite a time in e:etting the threshers to stop for
my small stack. They are coming this way from
Rock Creek next Tuesday, and they have prom-
ised to stop and pound out my few bushels."
The father was in no hurry to go into the house
and the young men were glad to linger outside also,
each of them expecting the other would mount
his horse and ride off. But not so. Farmer Els-
ton explained in detail his little farm and then
showed them the spring in the hillside, coming
around at last to the garden in front.
"This," said the owner, "is our flower garden.
We believe in flowers, you see. It isn't usual,
I know, in this land of water scarcity to divert
the precious fluid from wheat and potatoes to
pinks and sweet-williams and hoUihocks; but
we— Julia and I— have the reputation, at leagt,
of being extravagant, and we must keep up our
reputation. We are not spendthrifts, however;
we are philosophers. Where are flowers more
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 113
needed than here? Who need flowers more than
we, surrounded as we are by a dreary waste?"
'You're right," agreed each of the young men.
'But we have neglected our garden of late,
having been so busy with our harvesting— but
let's go in the house."
Julia was ready for them, the wise father
having given her the required time. She received
them at the front door, a big white apron cover-
ing her from head to foot. Everything within
that house was in exact order. Every speck of
dust had disappeared. They all went into the
front room, but Julia soon excused herself, and
hurried into the kitchen, from which came the
rattle of dishes and the fore-tokens of savory
The conversation ranged among a variety of
subjects: crops, dry-farming, the cattle market,
school teaching, mining. Mr. Elston asked about
Mr. Lawrence's mining prospects, and he
explained that he had given it up for the present.
Oh, a miner, thought Glen.
"I believe," said the father, "that all these
hills contain valuable minerals. We Latter-day
Saints have been censured for not doing more min-
ing; but I believe it was good policy to develop our
agricultural resources first, for without that there
could be very little success in mining. Well, I'm
sorry your prospects did not turn out as well as
you had hoped. Julia told me about your camp
up on the side of Old Thunder."
114 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
What! Julia been visiting his mines! said Glen
to himself. There was a slight sinking of the
heart at the news.
Then Mr. Elston talked of early days, which
was not so interesting to Glen as it was to Ches-
ter. It is to be feared that more than one mind
traveled back and forth to and from the kitchen
that Sunday afternoon.
"All ready," announced Julia.
They went into the living room, where the
table was set for four. Each occupied one side
of the square table. Glen was asked to bless the
food, and then Mr. Elston began to pass the var-
'*I think both of you," said the^ father, **under-
stand our rule of having cold meals on Sunday ;
so I had better explain why we are having
"Father!'* protested Julia, blushing; "you
needn't make any explanation.*'
But he would not be deprived of his little joke,
gO he continued: "When I caught my house-
keeper yesterday sroing to the chopping-block
with a squeaking chicken in one hand and an ax
in the other, she explained the situation by say-
ing, *We might have visitors tomorrow.' "
"Well, wasn't my guess right!" she exclaimed
boldly, thus covering her confusion in the best
The chicken was tender and good. Then there
were rich cream gravy, mealy potatoes, and big
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 115
slices of home-made bread. For drinking there
were cool, sweet milk, butter-milk, and cold,clear
water from the spring. Afterwards, there was
pie, made from the native black currants.
The young men enjoyed every bit of it. Clean,
tasty, simple — these appealed to the man from .
the East. The fact that it was Julia's dinner at
Julia's table seemed to give the neighbor's boy
the most pleasure. Two hearts rose at the fath-
er's little sally— she was expecting someone ; and
then each thought. Which one? Two hearts sank
again— and Julia, radiant with happiness, looked
first at one and then at the other, all unconscious
of the alternating currents of joy and pain cours-
ing through those young men's hearts.
**Do you like the pie?'* asked Mr. Elston of
Lovely. What's it made of T"
Native currants. A really fine fruit very much
neglected. I have cultivated it until the berries
are as big as small cherries. There is no finer
small fruit grown, and yet very few people know
After dinner, the men went back to the front
room. Julia cleared the table.
*'May I help you wash the dishesT" asked
Glen, going to the door.
"You don't know how," was the reply.
*'I do," said Chester behind him.
*'Both of you go back and entertain father-
by letting him talk to you," she ordered. "I'll be
116 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
with you in a few minutes." And in an incredibly
short time she was. Her apron was off, and even
the coils of her brown hair had received attention.
She took a seat in a comer and listened to the
**Your folks haven't threshed yet, have they!"
the father asked Glen.
*'I think they expect the threshers the latter
part of the week.*'
"Then you're not so busy— I wonder if you
could help us here Tuesday?"
'You see, it won't be long, but while it lasts,
it will keep all of us going pretty fast. Julia and
I are hardly equal to it. Besides, Julia will have
to feed the threshers once, and you know what
*'I do," he agreed, looking at her as if in pity
for the job ahead of her.
"I, too, would very much like to come and
help," said Chester.
Mr. Elston .looked at him. "Have you ever
worked at a threshing machine?"
"Never— never seen one."
"Well, you might pitch straw at the tail end of
the straw carrier, ah, GlenT" and the speaker
winked merrily at Glen. Chester saw the play
and asked what it meant.
"Well, my wheat is quite clean this year; but
there's always some smut and a good deal of
dust, and it all comes out with the straw. You'll
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 117
have to wear goggles over your eyes and a sponge
over your nose and then keep your mouth shut."
**rm game," said Chester.
*'You want a job pretty badly, I see?''
"I'm out of one just now; and I believe in tak-
ing the first one that is oflEered until a better one
*'A good rule. You're hired. The wages will
*'I shall be paid when I have that threshers'
meal of Miss Julia's cooking." *
Glen had to smile with the rest, but —
*'I think, Julia, we can sing a song now," said
Mr. Elston. "We haven't a piano yet, and our
organ is old; but I like it. There's something
about the sustained notes of an organ that
appeals to me more than the thump, thump of a
Julia reluctantly and with many excuses seated
herself at the organ. She played fairly well some
familiar hymns and songs. The three men stood
around all trying to look at the one book on the
organ. The eyes of the young men stealthily left
the book to glance at the organist and then at
each other. They sang '*0 ye Mountains
High," "For the Strength of the Hills,' and
others in which Chester could not join.
Then they went out. The afternoon was pass-
ing, and the open drew them away from the close
room. They climbed the hill above the house to
et a better view. They found some choke-
118 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
cherries which Glen broke away in branches,
from which they picked the fruit. Chester noticed
that Julia and Glen ate from the same twig, she
not having one of her own. She chatted gaily
with him now, looked fearlessly into his face as
though they understood each other perfectly. * 'It's
no use for me," thought Chester. "I might as
well give up hope now— if I can."
But presently there was a shifting. Mr. Elston
detained Glen, and Julia took Chester up on a
higher knoll to show him a beautiful prospect.
Glen could see them in profile against the gray
sky. She was talking and pointing into the val-
ley below. Then she would look up at Chester.
Her laugh echoed over the hills, and although it
was not loud, it drowned the father's words to
Glen. *Td better get away,'' he thought. "Pm a
fool for being here in the way. Anybody can
plainly see the drift of things. Poor Julia!"— he
meant ' 'poor me . "
But Julia came back, and with her came hope.
They all saw the sun go down and Chester
declared that a sunset on the ocean was not more
beautiful. Then they went back to the cottage by
way of the graveyard. They paused for a few
moments to look within the enclosure, and then
went on. Mr. Elston and Chester were walking
Ber mother lies there," said Mr. Elston.
'Yes, so I imderstand.'*
She was your mother's friend— one of her
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 119
best friends. She loved your mother dearly."
The young man said nothing. His companion
continued, "You said you were not busy for a
few days. Stay here with us. I want to talk to
you more. I feel that you have come into our
lives. I want you to understand us, to under-
stand me, so that when you go back to your
mother, you may represent us as we are; will
They were at the bars of the pasture where
the cows stood waiting. "Julia," said the father,
"Mri Lawrence is going to visit with us a few
days -until after threshing, anyway— we'll stay
here until you fetch the milk bucket— and bring
my overalls, too."
Julia and Glen went on together to the house
where she got the bucket and the overalls. After
delivering these to her father, she came back to
the garden where Glen had remained in a de-
pressed mood. She saw it and smiled at him
from behind a bush.
"Cheer up. Glen," she said. "You are in the
dumps, which isn't fair— on Sunday."
"I'll have to be going," he replied. He walked
to were his horse was grazing, Julia following.
He bridled his horse,but no sooner had he done so
than Julia took the reins and held them behind
Glen, what's the matter?" she asked soberly.
Nothing— only I must be going — and— and you
120 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE
have plenty of company, anyway, without me."
'Well— of course — but, I'll see you Tuesday/'
1 don't know. Maybe I can't come. May I
have my horse T"
She handed him the lines and he mounted his
Good night," she said.
Good night," he replied as he galloped off.
The next morning after breakfast, Chester
Lawrence rode off to Rock Creek, promising to
be back again in the afternoon. When he had
gone, Mr. Elston went back to Julia, who was
just finishing the dishes. He waited until she
had cleared the last dish away and had washed
and wiped her hands. Surmising that her father
wished to speak to her, she seated herself by the
table as if to say, '*I'm ready, father, go ahead."
*'I want to talk to you a few minutes, Julia,
while Mr. Lawrence is away."
He drew his chair near to the table.
"We've always been plain and open with each
other, and we've found that to be the best. There
is safety in it. And now we want to talk a few
minutes about Chester Lawrence and Glen
Julia's eyes opened wide. "What is the mat-
ter with them?" she asked.
"Nothing the matter, my gii*l — ^not that I know
of; but both of them think a lot of you."
Well, I think they're both nice, too."
But what they think is well on the way to go
beyond the 'nice' point. If things go on with
them and you as it did yesterday, for instance.
122 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
you'll soon have two proposals of marriage to
"Why, father! I don't want to get married— I
don't want one proposal; but surely—"
**I know, my girl, you may not have thought
about such things very seriously; but you're a
woman now, and they'll soon come to you with
force. These men see in you a woman, and I'll
warrant both of them have thought of you as a
Julia did not know whether to laugh or cry, so
she did neither, but sat silently trying to control
her conflicting emotions. The father continued:
*'As I have told you before, some day 1 want my
girl to get a good husband. That's the natural
and perfectly proper wish of every parent; I
want that husband to be the one the Lord has
for her. I don't want you to make any mistake
in this matter, for that would be a very serious
one indeed. Your future happiness, and to a
great extent your usefulness, depend on the kind
of marriage you make. Girls should put their
love in the Lord's safe keeping and ask him to
guard it until the right one comes to claim it."
I have, father."
Yes; I believe you have. I believe you're
safe, my girl. I can trust you to do the right
because you go to both your heavenly Father and
your earthly parent for advice * * ♦ Now,
I want to explain why I asked Mr. Lawrence to
our house. In the first place, as you know, there
PINET EIDGE COTTAGE 123
is a sort of tie between us. I want to show him
that I — ^in fact, we Latter-day Saints— are not
the kind of people he has been led to believe. I
can do this better by having him live with us that
he may see our daily lives. I want him to go
back to his mother a different man than when he
left her. If he can be a second message-bearer
to her, I shall be pleased. In the fiecond place, I
invited him here, knowing that he would see you
anyway one way or another. Such men are not
so easily frightened away. They are not like
Glen, so sensitive that the least slight will drive
them away. I wanted to get better acquainted
with Chester. With him here in the house visit-
ing with us, there is not the glamor that attaches
itself to meetings on the mountains and other
Julia was quieted. She let her father talk im-
"I believe Chester is a good man as the world
goes— much better than the average man of the
world. He tells me he is investigating 'Mormon-
ism.' I have no reason to doubt his sincerity;
but I have known so many cases where the love
of a girl instead of the love of the truth for truth's
sake has been the motive back of the interest in
the gospel, that my suspicions are excusable. Let
us test him. Let us treat him as a brother and
a friend, and help him all we can; but you are
not to fall in love with him, Julia."
124 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
The tears got the better of Julia's inclination to
"Don't forget what I have so often told you,"
he continued, "the first and the one absolute
qualification of a husband is that he must be a
Latter-day Saint. With our knowledge of the
gospel, this is essential. Then, as far as we can
know, he must be a pure man. There are, of
course, many other virtues which a husband
should have, but unless he measures up to these
first requirements, he is not to be thought of as a
husband. As there is a beginning to all condi-
tions, there is a beginning to a girl's infatuation
for a man. We have heard talk of 'love at first
sight,' as if it were something that we could not
help— that came to us without our bidding. That is
a mistake. Love never goes unless it is sent,
love never abides unless it is received. Pure men
and women never fall in love at first sight with
those between whom it is unlawful. Brothers and
sisters, if known to be such, do not fall in love, in
the sense of which we are speaking, at first sight
of each other. No ; these things are within our
control in the beginning. The danger is when we
play with forbidden things— and the one forbid-
den thing for Julia Elston right now is that she
must not fall in love with Chester Lawrence. It
isn't forbidden because I say so, but because
Julia Elston *s own standards say so."
Julia sat immovable with hands under her chin
and tears trickling unheeded down her cheeks. The
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 125
father went around to her chair, placed his arm
around her and drew her head to his side. The
tears broke forth, and sobs came with them. He
held her there closely, until she found relief, then
she wiped her eyes and smiled again up to his
'*! don't know why I cried," she said. *'I
couldn't help it. * * * All you say is true,
father. I have always believed as you have
taught me. And let me tell you, so that you may
be assured, I shall check any inclination to love
Mr. Lawrence in any other way than a brother.
In fact that's how I have always thought of him."
"You're my good girl," said he. "God bless
you and preserve you. * * As for Glen ; he's a
good boy and the making of a good man, I be-
lieve ; but I want you to understand that you are
to be free in this matter—heart free to choose and
decide when the Lord releases that love of yours
which He has in safe keeping." He kissed her.
"Now, then, we must go to work. The threshers
are coming tomorrow."
The coming of the threshers to Piney Ridge
reminded Chester Lawrence of the circus of his
boyhood days. There was the big threshing
machine drawn by four horses, which resembled
a huge cage of animals. Then came the "horse
power," drawn by more big horses, and other
wagons. The procession drew into the yard, and
the thresher was placed alongside the wheat
stack. The power machine was set, stakes being
126 PINET EIDGE COTTAGE
driven into the ground to hold everything fast.
There was a general bustle of calling men, stamp-
ing and neighing horses until everything was in
readiness. The horses were in the sweeps, the
driver with his whip was perched on the platform
in the center of the "horse power.'' The feeder
and the band-cutter took their positions near the
intake by the big cylinder. Two men mounted
the stack, one of whom was Glen Curtis. A boy
stood ready to manage the straw. Chester had
been assigned to the duty of carrying the wheat
from the streaming spout to the bin.
The crew had driven from the last stand after
dinner. They were to finish Mr. Elston's stack,eat
supper and get to the next place that night,
therefore there was no loitering. One '*feed" was
about all Mr. Elston's small stack could stand.
Julia was deep in the work. She had tried to
get some help, but at the last moment she had
been disappointed. Her father assisted and even
Chester had taken a hand in pealing potatoes.
There was to be hot biscuits — ^that thresher's
necessity— and "stacks" of potatoes and fried
meat. Yet amid it all, she found time to peep
out at the dusty men in the yard.
"All ready." The bundles fell to the platform
of the thresher where their wheaten bands were
severed by one stroke of the cutter's knife. The
driver carefully cracked his whip and touched his
horses until they all tugged evenly at the sweeps.
"Steady, there, steady. Get up, boys.'' Crack!
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 127
'*Now then, there— steady." Crack! Slowly the
sweeps moved around, the rod revolved and the
big machine beeran to grate and whir. First there
was a low rumble, then as wheels and belts
and fans gathered speed, the rumble changed to
a song in a higher key, which arose and fell in
changing tones as the feeding was heavy or light.
Steady, boys, steady,'' shouted the driver.
Not too fast. Up a bit, there you.'' Crack!
But everything ran smoothly, after the first few
minutes of preparation, the bundles flew fast, the
straw and chaff kept the boy working, the clean
wheat rolled from the spout into the measure.
In full swing they went, the steady hum of the
machine sounding like a song of peace and
plenty into the autumn air.
In two hours the stack had gone, and the last
chaff and straw were being fed into the thresher.
The straw pile reached high. Chester's back was
tired. The horses were slowed down. The song
changed to the low rumble again, and then
stopped. The horses were unhitched, stakes
were pulled, rods and sweeps were disconnected
and packed away. The horses were fed, and
then the men, black with dust and dirt, filed
along to the house.
A wash basin or two would be an aggravation
only to this crowd, so a ditch of running water
was provided with plenty of soap and towels.
Into this they sputtered, emerging with most of
the dust from face and hands. They were a
128 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
mixed lot of men, young and old, talkative and
quiet. Julia received them in the living room
and placed them around the two tables which she
had provided. They threw their hats outside by
the door. All of these men had heard of Piney
Eidge Cottage and its mistress, and they entered
with a little more deference than they did at the
usual farm house. The cook had timed her meal
well. The meat and potatoes were hot, the bis-
cuits were steaming. Everything was on the table ;
and it was simply, "Now then, help yourself."
Julia made even her father sit down and eat with
the rest. She had provided room for everyone.
Julia stood for a moment arms akimbo, survey-
ing the busy eaters. She was master of the situ-
ation, and there was a glow of satisfaction in
what she had done. Then she darted here and
there, helping, suggesting, filling pitchers, heap-
ing up warm biscuits, passing the gravy. Chester
could not keep his eyes from her. He had at-
tended graduating exercises, first nights and other
high class functions, but this girl with white
apron, and sleeves rolled up to elbow, with rosy
face and smiling lips, had scored a triumph the
equal of any he had ever witnessed; and Glen,
too, was glad that he had overcome his fit of vexa-
tion and had come to this threshing. Julia, he
thought, smiled very sweetly on him, and saw
to it that he was well supplied.
Then, after supper, there was hitching up
again and oflE. The next stand must be made
PINEY KIDGE COTTAGE 129
before dark, and there was no time to lose.
Chester and Glen's *'jobs" were limited to Piney
Eidge, and so they remained, helping Mr. Elston
properly stack his straw and make a general
clean-up ai*ound the yard. It was all a very
interesting experience to Chester, and he said as
much to Mr. Elston.
The sun had gone down before the chores were
all finished, and the men went back to the house.
Julia was still busy with dishes. Without asking
leave the two young men gave a helping hand.
The lamp was lighted, and at last they all sat
down to rest.
*'Will you have the newspaper, father? *' asked
Julia. "It came today.*'
*'No, I'm too tired to read tonight."
*'0h, I forgot—a letter came, too.''
She handed it to him. He looked at it, then
opened it. The other three were busy talking,
and they did not see the tremor in his hand or
the changed expression in his face. Then he
arose, went to his desk in the comer and placed
the letter in a drawer. For a few moments he
stood with face away from the others before he
"Julia," he said, "you have had a long, hard
day. You had better go to bed now.*'
"All right. I am tired."
"And I must get back," said Glen. Julia went
with him to the door, saying goodnight to him
outside. In a few moments Chester also retired.
130 PINEY BIDQE COTTAGE
**What was in the letter, father? May I know?
It disturbed you/*
The father looked at her a moment, then he
went to the desk again and got the letter.
*'Yes, you may know,'* he said.
'*Look, do you see that printing in the
**Yes; *If not delivered in 5 days return to
Box B, Salt Lake City, Utah,' " she read.
'*You have heard of *Box B' letters?"
*'Yes; when missionaries are called, they say
the letters they get are from *Box B.' "
''That's right, Julia— and this is one."
"Calling you on a missiont^^
"Yes; this is a letter calling me to Great Brit-
ain to preach the gospel. ^^
She looked closely at the letter, then without
reading it she clung to her father. She was
trembling. ♦ ♦ * Oh, but she was tired !
"When— when are you going?^'
"It doesn't say. They want to know when I
can get ready; but we^U not worry about that
tonight, my girl. Go to bed and get a good
night's rest and then we^U talk further about it."
"But you are going?"
"What do you sayf Shall I go? '
"Why, yes, of course — but — "
"All right. Now goodnight." He kissed her
softly, and she moved as if in a dream up the
stairs and into her room.
On a Friday evening late in September, a fare-
well party was given Hugh Elston in the Piney
Ridge schoolhouse. Neighbors for ten miles
around were present, for Hugh Elston was well
known and well liked by * 'Mormon, Jew and
The people began to gather late in the after-
noon, because the program was to begin at "early
candlelight/' The thoughtful farmer came in
his farm wagon, in which he could bring hay for
his horses, and if the night proved very cold, he
blanketed them. A few would-be cowboys rode
in big saddles and many trappings, tied their
horses to a post where they stood uncared for
half the night. By dusk the camp yard around
the schoolhouse was filled with horses and vehi-
cles. The lamps were lighted within, and the
crowd flocked into the house. It had been three
years since a missionary had been given a fare-
well from that part. None missed such gather-
ings. Many friendly **outsiders" came, while
some Church members who couldn't quite see the
advisability of attending the usual church ser-
vices, thought it their *'bounden duty'^ to be
present at all gatherings of a social character. A
brother sat near the door by a table. In his
keeping was a box with a slit in the lid, into
132 PINEY BIDGE COTTAGE
which those who entered could drop their contri-
butions. These ranged from the little girl's
nickel to the big dollar which made a rattle in
the fast-growing coin pile. About every third
man, woman and child who entered, carried a
basket, a small box or a bundle. These were
deposited in any handy and safe place — ^in the
comers, in the windows, or on the school desks.
This was the picnic.
The guest of honor arrived just before the pro-
gram was to begin. With him was Julia, arrayed
in her best and looking her best, too. To the
astonishment of some, to the wonder of others,
and to the painful humiliation of one, Ches-
ter Lawrence followed closely with the bas-
ket, as if he were one of the Elston family. At
the door he gave the basket to Julia, who went
up in front with her father, he finding a seat near
the door. There were much whispering and
craning of necks to catch sight of Julia in her
new dress and hat, and that "tony feller from
At this time in the history of Piney Eidge
there was no ward organization. Brother Peter-
son was the presiding elder, and it was he who
mounted the platform, called the meeting to
order, and announced the numbers on the pro-
gram. First there was congregational singing,
then prayer, following which came duets, solos,
recitations, instrumental music and short speeches
by prominent members of the community. These
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 133
spoke of the good neighbor and upright man,
Brother Hugh Elston, and how they would miss
him. * 'Brother Elston is present, and I want him
to hear my opinion of him," said one brother. "I
don't believe in waiting until one is dead to speak
of his good qualities. I may not care what you
say over my dead body — I may not be there to
hear— but if you have any good thing to say of
me, tell it to me now. That's what I believe in,
The songs were good and bad. Some excellent
voices there were, needing only training. One
girPs song was simply a nerve-racking nasal
screech— but there were no severe critics present,
and all the program was enjoyed, even to the
long-drawn-out recitation repeated in a sing-
Brother Binks had his turn between two of the
song numbers. Brother Binks always spoke at
all social gatherings. It would be hard to imag-
ine what would happen— to Brother Binks— if he
were slighted. This brother was held in great
honor — and rightly so — because he had crossed
the plains in early days with one of the hand-
cart companies, and he always took great delight
in telling how he had pulled his hand-cart from
the Missouri river to the valley. Yes, he had
done this valiant deed—and then (this, of course,
he never mentioned, but It is the truth, neverthe-
less) he had done nothing ever since. The
brother by the contribution box at the door had
134 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
tried to guess by the noise it made, whether the
coin Brother Binks had dropped in was a quarter
or a dime. He inclined to think it was the latter.
Then the departing missionary had to speak.
He expressed his pleasure and appreciation of
his friends' presence, and hoped to met them all
again on his return.
After the program the desks were moved about,
boards were placed on them to form tables, on
which were spread table-cloths. The picnic was
then opened and placed thereon. Seats were
drawn up to the long table, and everybody found
places. Brother Elston sat at the head with Julia
near him. A blessing was asked, and then the
rattle and chatter of a busy crowd mingled with
*' Sister Jensen," asked Hugh Elston, "did you
bring some apple-cakef "
"Yes; it's here," replied the Danish sister
whose cooking of dainties was a feature of all
such gatherings. "Do you want some nowf"
"Not until after I have finished my chicken,
but I thought I'd make my chance sure. You
know I'll not get any such apple cake as you
make out in the mission field."
"No; they live on weak tea and thin slices of
bread and butter," remarked one who had been
on a missson to England, but couldn't stand the
"That's habout has good as your yella, hot.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 135
soda biscuits an' fried bacon has you Yankees
heats/' replied a Britisher loyally.
**Ear, earl" shouted another from the end of
"Please pass the pickles."
Thus the fun ran up and down, over and
across ; for in that company were Yankees from
New England, Southerners from Florida, and
those who had lived all their lives in "the wild
and woolly West." There were Danes, Swedes,
Germans, Irish, two from Australia, and one
from far-oflE Iceland. Thus this mixture of races,
strong and simple-lived men and women, were
subduing the desert and being knit together into
one great body by the opportunities of this land
of liberty and the operations of the Spirit of God
found in the Church to which they belonged.
These and their children were becoming one
nation on the mountains of Israel, faithful to
the truth, strong in the defense of the right.
After the eating, the tables were cleared away
and most of the desks were carried outside. The
long benches were placed along the walls, the
floor was swept, and while the fiddlers were tun-
ing up, two young men scattered the fine cut-
tings from wax candles over the floor. Two vio-
lins and the organ composed the orchestra.
"Choose your partners for a plain quadrille,"
shouted the floor manager.
It was in order for Brother Elston to lead out,
so with Julia on his arm he stepped in front of
136 PINEY RIDaE COTTAGE
the platform to begin the first set, which was soon
*'Two more couples wanted this way. One
more couple wanted. AH set.'^
Hugh Elston could manage in some way the
plain quadrille ; but he was no dancer,so he handed
Julia over to the host of would-be partners. It was
first come, first served, and there was sometimes
quite a scramble. Chester was keenly interested
in it all, but he did not ask Julia for a dance. He
would greatly have enjoyed it, but he thought it
wiser not to do so. Glen, too, hung back. He
did not feel like joining in the rush with the other
boys. He danced once, then he, too, looked on.
Julia was having a jolly time to all appearances.
Why should he ''butt in."
A few of the older people now went home, but
most of the company remained to look on, even
if they did not dance. These sat in the comer
out of the way of the swinging young people, and
talked— yes, and gossiped a little.
''Why didn't Julia's feller dance? Perhaps
he's a Methodist or some such sect that thinks it
a sin to dance. Perhaps — but then we mustn^t
judge. He looks a decent sort of chap. * * Yes,
he's a wise one; getting on the best side of the
old man ♦ * * What's the matter with Glen
Curtis tonight? Cut out! Pshaw, that dude cut
him out! Julians too sensible; besides he's an
outsider. She would'nt think o' such a thing.
* * Don't be too sure. Sometimes the best girls
PINEY BIDQE COTTAGE 137
will do the worst things. You never can tell.
* * * What's Julia going to do while her fath-
er's awayf She's going to live in Salt Lake with
an Aunt Jane, and go to school— learn to be a
teacher. The superintendent says she is a natural
teacher, and he wants her to study some along
that line, so she can take the examination. * *
Well, I'll declare, look at Jim Bates. Quite
sporty, ain't hef He's smiling sweet on Julia;
but it's no use, Jim. * * * Brother Elston's
a little old to go on a mission, but he's well and
strong, and he says he's been waiting for this all
his life. I do hope Julia will get along. I don't
see how she can stand to leave that lovely home
of her's-she won't find any such a place in the
city. * * Too much noise and racket down
there for me. Why las' time I was to conference
I was nearly run over by one of them nasty
smellin' automobiles. / just think it's awful.
* * See how Susie's dress hangs. She'd much
better had made it herself than have let that
dressmaker at Croft do it. I don't care for this
new fangled style anyway. * * Did you get
some of mypief You didn't! Well, that's too
bad. I wanted you to taste it. But my pies al-
ways are gobbled up as quick as wink. I never get
a piece myself. Yes, your cake was just dandy.
I made a failure with mine. I opened the oven
door just at the wrong time, an' it fell as flat as a
The first violinist worked hand and foot dili-
138 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
gently, the second scraped faithfully his bow
over the responsive strings, the organ bellowed
forth in chords more or less tuneful. The young
dancers warmed up to their work, while fathers
and mothers looked on amid their gossip. The
smaller children becoming tired and sleepy,
struggled to keep awake, but at last had to give
up and sprawled on the seats. The babies were
tucked in a bed of blankets in the comers away
from draughts, where they slept peacefully amid
Towards eleven o'clock there came a pause in
the dancing to give the musicians a rest, and per-
mit the floor to be swept and given another
sprinkling of candle. The intermission was filled
in by a song by one of the girls, who had been
on the program but had come in too late for her
number. The dancers fanned themselves vigor-
ously, and some of the unthoughtful ones went out
into the night air to cool oflE. Then the music
started again and the dance continued.
Glen Curtis had given away more and more to
the spirit of despondency which was upon him,
until he now sat a morose and silent looker-on.
He had not asked Julia for a dance, nor would
he now— not he I The wail of the fiddles sounded
deep in his heart and found an echo there.
Music to the glad, makes a gladder heart; to the
sad gives depths to the sadness. Music accent-
uates the state of mind, whether that be
evil or whether it be good. Music, like knowl-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 139
edge, is a power for good or evil. Saints
sing and play to praise and give glory to
God; the tempter entices the feet of the un-
wary, leading them down to hell by the capti-
vating spell of her music. Glen had traveled a
long way to be at this farewell party. He had
pictured a good time with Julia and he had even
wondered whether or not he could resist telling
her he loved her ; but from the first he had been
disappointed. Her entrance with Chester had
cast a gloom over his sensitive spirit, and he had
not been able to throw it oflE.
At the close of the dance, Julia flushed and
warm, came up to Glen and seated herself by
him. **I simply can't dance the next time," she
pouted. **I'm tired out; but if I stay in the room
someone will ask me. I*d like to go out a
Shall I go with youf" asked Glen.
You must have a wrap; it^s cold outside."
He fetched a shawl, which she threw over her
shoulders. Then they slipped out by the back
The night was clear and cold. The stars shone
from a perfect sky. There was no moon, so all
the light was starlight.
*'What a beautiful night!" exclaimed Julia
looking up to the stars.
**Yes; it is." They walked out from among
the wagons down the road.
140 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
^What is the matter with you tonight, Glenl"
^Nothing the matter with me."
Then why haven't you asked me to dance
**You have been having a good time with
your partner, haven't youf ''
"My partner! I came with father, and he has
danced with me once."
"1 thought Chester Lawrence was your partner.
You came with him."
'*He came with us from home. That's why we
came together. He hasn't danced with me once,
They stood now by the fence, Julia leaning her
arm on the top pole. Glen came near. ** Julia,
who is this man, Chester Lawrence, and what is
he to youf"
The girl looked at him, a little annoyed at his
manner. She drew her shawl close around her
shoulders but did not answer.
''Who is he, Julial"
**He is a friend of father's."
"And of yours?"
"Of course. Father's friends are mine."
"He is an outsider, a stranger, and — ." He
was about to accuse her of thinking more of
him than of her life-long friend, but he checked
himself. "I think you ought to be careful."
"He is simply a friend, and that is how I treat
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 141
''First he was interested in land, then he was a
miner; but I think his chief concern is you '*
*'Glen, how you talk! He has been a perfect
gentleman to me."
''Certainly; that's the way they do it. We clod-
hopping country boys aren't in it when an East-
ern dude comes along."
"Glen, I want to go back. Let's go. It's cold
"All right." He pulled her wrap close about
her, with a tender touch. Was this the end
then— the end of all his dreams? He wanted to
say so much to her, but his heart seemed to
choke him, so he could not speak. Poor, sen-
sitive boy, he was just entering life, but he did
not know it ; he thought he had come to the end
of everything worth while.
"There; are you cold?" he asked. "I'll go to
the door, but I'll not go in. I'm going home."
"Nonsense, Glen; you're going in and dance
with me. It isn't fair."
"No; not now, I can't— I— I— well, I've felt so
bad all evening. I'm silly, I guess, but I can't
I don't understand you. Glen. You haven't
acted like this before."
"No; but it isn't that! haven't felt like it. ♦ ♦
Julia—" but the throbbing heart was in the way.
They walked back silently. The lights gleamed
from the windows. The sound of music and
dancing rose and fell as doors were opened and
142 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE
closed. Some were hitching their horses to the
wagons, preparatory to bundling in the family for
*'When are you going to Salt Lake?" asked he.
* 'Father goes next week, and I'm going with
him. * * CanH you stay over Sunday? Come
and see us then."
*'Not very well. You see, I got oflE all day to-
day to come up here, and I'll have to be back to
school Monday morning. I^d like to visit with
you Sunday. Perhaps—'*
"Do, Glen. Won't you come in nowf "
*'Just a minute. Will Mr. Lavrrence be at
Piney Ridge Cottage Sunday I"
'*Yes; I heard father ask him. He is just
going East again,and this is to be a sort of good-
by visit, I understand."
''Then I'll be in the way. I'll not come. I'll
say my goodby now."
They paused by the door of the schoolhouse,
then stepped to one side out of the way of the
light. The young man with a desperate eflEort got
rid of the choking lump in his throat long enough
"Julia, I thought I would have a good chance
to tell you how dear you are to me— how much I
love you— but"— . He took her hands — both of
them, and felt her shiver. "You are cold. You
must go in." . He led her to the door, opened it
and pushed her gently in. Then he turned, hur-
ried out to his horse, and was soon galloping
down the dark road under the gleaming stars.
Hugh Elston let Piney Ridge to a newly mar-
ried couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ross— on condition
that they would take good care of the house, and
not permit the shrubbery and the grass to die
out in the garden. They were also to keep alive
and growing the trees in the little graveyard.
The fields and orchard, the young farmer could
be trusted to take care of, for in them lay his own
living and the means whereby to pay his rent ;
but special provisions, Mr. Elston knew, would
have to be made for the bits of ornamentation
and sentimental luxury which were dear to the
owners, or they would surely be neglected.
Julia contemplated her home-leaving with var-
ied emotions. Piney Ridge had always been home
to her. Here she had been bom, here she had
lived with nature in its beauty and wildness, here
her world had centered. Her room overlooking
the garden, the big broad valley, and then the
evening sun, was the cosy nest of that home ; and
a little pain troubled her heart when she thought
of leaving it. But then, she would now see a
little of the world ; she would get out among peo-
ple and have a change from the monotonous same-
ness of her country life. So there was an eager
expectancy mingled with the regret of leaving.
A neighbor with his farm wagon took Julia and
144 PINEY RIDGE COTTAQE
her father with their baggage to the station at
Croft, where they boarded the train early one
morning. They arrived in Salt Lake City the
same afternoon. The view from the car window
interested Julia as they sped past great stretches
of green fields, towns and villages. She was
glad that she was not alone in the noisy station at
Salt Lake. The crowds of hurrying people, the
moving trains and trucks, and especially the mad
shouting of bus and carriage drivers would have
bewildered the girl. It was conference time and
the crowds had already begun to come. Her
father arranged for the care of the baggage, and
then they boarded a street car up into the city,
thence to Aunt Jane's.
Aunt Jane Borden had been a widow for ten
years. She had two daughters. Rose, nineteen,
and Marcia, twenty-two. These worked in a
down-town store, one as a clerk, the other as a
stenographer. Aunt Jane received her guests
warmly, took Julia's hat and wraps, and directed
her father to hang his hat and coat in the hall.
Aunt Jane was a marvel at talking. Words,
words, words came from her lips as continuously
and as easily as a stream gliding endlessly by.
She greeted you at the gate, and from that
moment there was a continuous stream of talk
until you closed the gate for departure. Then she
followed you on to the sidewalk, and sometimes
you could hear her until you turned the comer.
This good woman seemed a strange person to
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 145
the quiet, reticent, and somewhat backward
Julia. The girl sat and listened in wrapt amaze-
ment, wondering when the talker would get to the
end of her subject, and what she would say
afterwards ; but there was never any lack of words,
and she switched so easily from one subject to
another that the break was not noticeable. Aunt
Jane, however, was hardly ever stilly for she had
many household duties to do. Words were not
her only stock in trade, by any means.
''Well, well," she said, **and so, Hugh, you are
going on that long expected mission at last. I
knew it was coming. I knew you would never
escape. My husband filled his mission when he
was much younger than you, but you^re not very
old yet— not too old, anyway." She was setting
the table, so she journeyed back and forth be-
tween the dining room and the kitchen, but the
talk kept right on. She simply raised her voice
when she was in the kitchen, and raised it a bit
louder when she disappeared in the pantry.
*'Well, I'm glad to see you looking so well. And
Julia— she's quite a woman. My, how children
grow ! My daughter Eose is nineteen— how old
are you now? Going on twenty— well you're a
bit older than Eose, as I might have remembered ;
but as I was saying, Eose is a big girl, bigger
than her sister Marcia. But then Marcia hasn't
been well. She's always been a sickly girl, and I
don't know how much longer she can stand it at
the office. It's hard on the girl to sit all day in
146 PINEY KIDQE COTTAaB
an office pounding on a typwriter. Julia here,
is just about the size of Marcie, but my, the differ-
ence in color I You are as brown as a nut, but
you'll see yourself how pale Marcia is. I'll bet
you can ride horses, milk cows and do all sorts of
hard work. Why, my girls can't do anything
but ride back and forth on the street car, Marcia
to her typewriter and Rose to her ribbon coun-
ter. I told them the other day they ought to
have taken your invitation to visit each summer
at Piney Ridge, but they've always said they
could't afford a vacation — you don't drink tea, I
suppose. I have it in the house, because some-
times we have visitors who use it. And then
the girls have the headache so often, which they
declare can only be helped by a cup of tea. I
think we ought to be careful not to have such
things became habitual with us, for there is Mary
Jenkins— you remember her— she was the girl
that married Tom Schoolman, a cousin of my
father's first wife — she went out to Idaho years
ago, and I haven't heard of her for a long time.
We were kind o' chummy when we were girls
down at Altone." Aunt Jane went into the base-
ment for a jar of fruit, but as she left the door
open she could be heard quite distinctly. She
took the fruit into the kitchen, and then there
was a pause.
'*Hugh, you'll have to help me with this lid. I
can't get it off."
Mr. Elston went to her assistance. The thread
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 147
of her discourse was broken because just then
the two gu"ls came in and were introduced to
Julia and her father.
That same evening there was to be a big con-
cert in the Tabernacle. The three girls and Mr.
Elston went. What a rattle of street cars and
glare of electric lights! And what crowds of
people surging through the big gates and into the
Tabernacle! It was all new and strange and
interesting to Julia. The two girls chatted
pleasantly to her, but she was so absorbed by the
sights that she did not carry on her part of the
conversation very successfully, Inside the Tab-
ernacle she looked around in silent amazement
at the immense curved ceiling, the mass of peo-
ple, the great organ and the choir sitting around
it. '*My," she at last said, ''what a lot of people,
and how big everything is ! "
Then the noise made by five thousand talking
people subsided,changed to a subdued hum as an
ocean of voices, and then all but ceased as the
conductor took his position and raised his hands.
Then the organ thundered out as the five hun-
dred singers arose and burst into song. Julia sat
spellbound until the number was over, then she
sank back into her seat with a sigh as if she had
been holding her breath.
Listen! The sea of faces vanish. Everything
is still. The soft murmur may be only the breeze
playing with the topmost branches of the pines.
Away oflE from a distance comes the clear call
148 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
as of a bird. Then again the sky is blue above
and all around Old Thunder. The call comes
from away out in space beyond the mountains.
Another bird is added and then another until
there are a thousand all sing^^ng in chorus. Then
the whistle of a flute joins the birds, and they
come on nearer and nearer, piping together. More
fluters are heard stepping in time and growing in
volume, until the air is full of sweet, stirring
melody. Then from some unseen, unknown
region a chorus of angelic voices joins, and a
song of praise swells out into all the world.
Louder and louder grows the music— then it
changes. The sweet-voiced songsters cease, the
flutes are silent. A deeper tone swells up, gath-
ering speed and volume. Faint echoes of thun-
der race in from the distance. Nearer they come
and more frequent. Crash ! Or is it the rhyth-
mical tread of ten thousand men? How the
great organ bellows forth ! The building trem-
bles as peal after peal of thunderous music rolls
along. Then at the great climax when it seems
as if the whole world is one volume of sound, it
suddenly ceases, its echoes for a moment rever-
berating away into the distance. There is silence
for a few moments, but Julia is still enveloped in
the music. Once again the organ plays. It is
as if the great golden gates of heaven were open
and soft, soul-filling music of the celestial king-
dom comes streaming out to earth. Julia is car-
ried away into another world of thought and
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 149
feeling. What is this? Her heart bums within
her, yet not of pain, but of an exquisite sweet-
ness akin to sadness. The organ ceases, and
Julia comes to earth again by hearing Rose say,
*'That was Lemar's Andantino.^^
There were more choruses by the big choir,
and soloists whose single voices filled the vast
space under the roof. It was all wonderfully
strange and beautiful to the girl who had never
heard such things before, but who could some-
what enter into and understand the music by
an intuition kept nicely sensitive by her studious
life amid her native mountains.
It was hard for Julia to sleep that night. She
was given a small upstairs bedroom next the
girls', so she was not lonely even though she
felt strange. It was late before she got into bed,
so she closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep ;
but, as everyone knows, to try to sleep is the
surest way to keep awake. The street cars made
a terrible noise. As she lay there listening, she
could hear them rumbling in the distance, then
coming nearer, until it seemed that some tre-
mendous onrushing demon would demolish the
house. The house trembled as the cars went by,
and then she was reminded of the great organ,
the choir and the wonderful singers.
Well, here she was at last in the city. How
would she like it? If her father could only
remain! But he' was to leave in a few days; and
then she would be alone. She felt lonely
150 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
already thinking of it. What were they doing
back at Piney Eidge? She hoped its new
occupants would not disturb her things that she
had carefully packed away in the upstairs closet.
Then there was the garden and the flowers— yes,
and the graves— the tears flowed softly on the
pillow. Even old Bossy, the cow, came to the
girl who was far away from the green spot in
the desert of sagebrush. That desert had not
called vigorously yet, but it was beckoning even
now. Gracious! that car sounded like a close
peal of thunder. Where was Glen? She was
going to get his address and write to him. His
words uttered by the schoolhouse door in all
earnestness came to her again. He loved her^
he had said so, and then had gone his way.
What would she have said had he remained and
forced her to speak? But Glen was not that kind
of boy. He would not knowingly intrude. He
would keep away if he had the least idea he was
not welcome. But had she given him any cause
to think his company was not wanted? Not that
she knew. Perhaps he was jealous of Chester;
but then Chester was so different. They had
had long talks and they had freely discussed
many subjects, even bordering on the very deli-
cate one of love and marriage. Chester was
wise on these things, she could tell. * * Was
that another car, or was it the organ? Oh, she
Julia was awakened next morning by Aunt
Jane's calling upstairs to the girls : ' 'Marcie, Eosie,
come, get up. It's time to get up."
From the girls' room there came some protest-
ing sounds— there was a creaking of bed springs,
Presently, the mother came again to the foot
of the stairs.
* 'Eosie," she shouted, "Marcie, you've just fif-
teen minutes, and not a minute longer. Come,
get up. Your breakfast is ready." The voice
disappeared into the kitchen and mingled with
the rattle of dishes. The girls moved again as
if getting out of bed with yawning reluctancy.
**Areyou up, girls?" came from below. **0h,
y— e— s," was the response. *'Well, hurry. The
pancakes are getting cold."
The bustling grew louder as the girls jumped
about as if just realizing they were late. Julia
also got up. She thought it the safer plan,
though she hardly knew what was expected of
her. The door to the girls' room opened and
Eose, half -dressed, bawled down to her mother:
"Ma, oh ma— are my shoes down there? I must
have left them in the kitchen last night— and ma,
bring up my side-combs, will you? I believe
they're in the window in the dining room."
"Presently Aunt Jane came l^boriouslv up the
152 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
stairs, talking to, or rather about those careless
girls who would never learn. She looked in at
Julia who was nearly dressed. "And are you up,
too? There was no hurry for you; but these girls
must get to work, and what a time I have with
them. Did you sleep well, dear?"
'*I must have slept fast when I got started,"
replied Julia, for the first thing I knew it was
morning. The cars bothered me a little.
*'Yes; they're just awful noisy; but we^re used
to them. Girl's, are you coming?"
**In a minute. Ma."
Julia went down with Aunt Jane, listening in a
sort of fascinated silence to the easy-moving
tongue. She found her father sitting on the
front porch reading the morning paper. Then in
a few moments there was a rushing of feet down
the stairs. ''Breakfast's ready," announced Aunt
Jane. The two went in. "We'll not have time
for prayers this morning," said the mother. The
girls are late — as usual. Sit down everybody—
Hugh, will you please ask the blessing?"
Eose and Marcie hurriedly swallowed a platter
of mush, talking between spoonfuls to Julia
about the program for the day. Tomorrow being
Sunday, they would not have to run away from
her like this. The last bit of mush was gulped,
and with a slice of bread and butter half eaten
they jumped from the table, pinned on their
hats and sped out into the street where the car
was just stopping on the comer. Julia watched
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 153
them through the window until they were safely
on and away.
"You're not used to such rush out on the farm
are you?" said Aunt Jane; "but here it's just one
continual whirlwind all the time. I'm nearly
worn out by it, and I tell you I long for the quiet
of my old home down in Altone. City life has its
advantages, but— have some more toast. You
mustn't lose that good country appetite. Those
girls of mine just pick and nibble. I don't see
what they live on. It's telling on Marcie. I
don't befieve she gets enough to eat nor enough
rest. That's why I let them sleep as long as
possible in the morning— though it is a job to
get them up."
"They ought to go to bed earlier," remarked
"That's true enough, but how are they to do
it? They're out every night in the week. What
with meetings and clubs and socials and picnics
and outings to mountains and lake, they never
get in till ten or twelve o'clock. You saw how it
was last night and this morning — it's
"Gracious!" exclaimed Julia unthin
"Yes; you might well be astonish^
pose it looks funny to you."
"I see," remarked Mr. Elston, tal
4age of an opening Aunt Jane had g
you are not as young as you used to b
working too hard.''
154 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
"But we must live. There's cleaning and
cooking and baking and sewing — and lots of
other things that I must do,"
'Don^t they help you?" asked Julia.
'Help? They couldn't; they haven't the time;
besides typewriting and measuring ribbons are
all they know how to do."
**Gracious!" exclaimed Julia again, at which
the two others laughed.
* 'Don't they have lessons to get— in Mutual
and Sunday School?' ' continued the girl.
*'Yes; they manage somehow to skim over
them on Sunday afternoons."
*'And when do they read?"
**Read! Oh, yes, they do read. See that
stack of books? Well, that's the *best six sell-
ers.' They read them on the cars going and
coming from work, and dmdng their dinner hour.
They get through a good many of them, but I
don't think it does them much good. * * You'll
have to go early to the Tabernacle to get a seat,
but you have plenty of time yet." They arose,
and Aunt Jane began to clear the table.
*'Aunt Jane," said Julia.
**Do me a favor."
"Certainly. What is it?"
**You go out on the porch and talk to father
while I wash the dishes."
The woman looked curiously at Julia. **Why,
of course not. The idea ! ' '
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 155
**I think the idea's a splendid one," said her
father. ^^ Julia isn't used to sitting around and
looking on while someone else works, and she
would be miserable doing such a thin£:."
* 'Neither am I used to it, I can tell you,'' re-
sponded Aunt Jane with vim.
**But it wouldn't hurt you to do it once in a
while. The sensation might be a new one to
you, but I believe you would enjoy it. Come on."
**Not much. You finish the paper, and Julia
and I will wash the dishes."
So Julia could give her help only, though had
the older woman known it, it would have given
the girl much more pleasure to have seen Aunt
Jane resting while Julia did her work. But this
good woman had made the mistake, as many
other good men and women have, of thinking
she was doing her duty by waiting on her chil-
dren. For years she had done everything for her
daughters, until now they had come to look upon
what their mother was doing for them as some-
thing justly due. Mothers like to serve their chil-
dren, forgetting often that the children would be
just as much pleased to serve the mother. Moth-
ers rob their children of the sweet satisfaction of
service by not training them to it from the begin-
ning. **It's better to give than to receive," says
the parent. If this is true of the parent why is
it not true of the children?
Julia and her father attended the meetings of
the conference all that dav. She enioved the
156 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
music and the preaching of leading authorities.
The big crowds of people were a never-ending
source of interest. The afternoon meeting was
a big one, many people not being able to get a
seat. The grounds overflowed with conference
visitors. Friends were meeting friends and there
was a general reunion of old acquaintances.
Sunday morning the girls managed to get
ready in time for the first meeting. Aunt Jane
said she had to stay home to get dinner, and no
amount of coaxing could change her purpose.
None of them would come home, they said, but
she answered that conference visitors might
drop m any time, and she wanted to De ready.
The Sunday meetings were too crowded anyway.
Rose and Marcie took Julia in hand that day
and introduced her to many of their friends.
Julia did well. She realized she was not trained
in many of the nice distinctions of social customs,
therefore she decided to act just as natural as she
could, and not to show her timidity; so she got
alons: veiy well, and found that she could suc-
cessfully carry on her part of the conversation.
The girls were somewhat surprised to see that
Julia was so well posted on general information,
and at one time she came to their rescue by
naming to them the author of a certain book
Sunday evening the * 'conference storm" came,
so they all decided to stay home, for which Julia
was thankful. A number of young people called
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 157
after supper and there was singing and playing.
Rose had a very good voice, ** which Brother
Stephens doesn't know of," said Marcie, * 'seeing
she hasn't been invited to join the Tabernacle
*'He can't be expected to know all the good
voices/^ remarked one of the boys — **hem!"
*'Zowr5, for instance," said another.
**Well, modesty forbade me to say as much."
Monday there were more meetings, and Aunt
Jane actually permitted Julia to remain at home
while she went to meeting with Mr. Elston.
Don't cook anything for dinner," she admon-
ished. The girls won't.be home and there's plenty
left over from yesterday. Have a good rest and
imagine you^re out at Piney Bidge Cottage."
Julia, left to herself, did as Aunt Jane had sug-
gested. Meanwhile, she looked at the books,
thrummed a little on the piano, and even took
pleasure in examining more closely the rooms of
the house with the pictures on the walls and the
bric-a-brac in the corners. Then she tried to
read, but the story would skip to Piney Ridge
and the people associated with it. From the
window of the small upstairs room she looked
out into the street, to the row of houses oppo-
site. How close they were! Hardly room for a
wagon to pass between them. She saw the
houses crowded together, and then she thought
of her own view from her own window, away
out on the sage-brush. But she would have to
158 PINEIY RIDGE COTTAGE
forget home for a time. She would feel all
right when she got started to school and got
deep into her lessons. Then she tried to read
again, and this time succeeded fairiy well.
The conference days passed, and the time came
for Mr. Elston to depart for his mission. The
Wednesday following he was set apari; and then
he was ready. He and Julia had been together
alone for several hours the evening before when
he had talked to her, giving her such instructions
as he thought she needed in her new home.
Above all, she was to be careful about the com-
pany she kept, *'Stay close to Aunt Jane,'' he
had said. * 'Don't go out late nights unless you
have the girls with you. * ♦ i shall have to
trust to your good judgment and to the care of
the Lord. He will protect you, if you will do
your part. Get acquainted with the bishop of
the ward. Attend Sunday school and the Mutual.
Make acquaintances among those who do like-
wise, for there is safety in that. Never forget
your prayers. Remember you must do your part
here or I cannot do my part in the mission. A
mission always consists of two divisions : the one
of actual preaching in the world; the other of
the faith, prayers and support of those at home.
Each is of equal importance.''
Then at the station came the parting. With
streaming eyes Julia saw the train pull out and
glide away from her down the track. He waved
to them from the open window as long as he
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 159
could see them. Then a curve took him out of
sight, and Julia sobbed out her grief on Aunt
Janets shoulder. She felt that now she was in
reality alone in the world.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Bear Father: Nov. 12, 19—
You have been gone over a month now and it
seems a year. My, how lonesome I get, and
how I lonfi: for yon and dear Piney Ridge Cottage !
When you have finished your mission we shall go
back. home and never leave it, shan't we, father?
I miss so much our quiet talks and our reading.
They tell me here that they don't see how I stand
the lonesomeness of Piney Ridge, but I tell them
that I am more lonesome in a Main Street crowd
than I am on the sides of Old Thunder— and its
true, too. I had no idea that a person could get
so lonesome in a crowd.
And my. how I miss my milk and cream!
When I told the girls here that I lived on bread
and milk, they stared at me, then jokingly called
me a calf. But I don't care. I haven't seen any
real milk since I came. It doesn't taste like our
milk — ^it doesn't even look like it; and cream!
they don't know what cream is, here. And
eggs! Well, I can't eat them any more, no thank
you. But enough about eating. I get all I
need, which isn't as much as if I were a farmer's
daughter— and partner.
Now I am going to talk about my neighbors,
which, as you know, is forbidden at Piney Ridge
Cottage; but as this isn't P. R. C, and you
aren't here to correct me; and further, you ask
me to be confidential and write you everything,
here goes: Oui* next door neighbors are just
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 161
three and a half feet away. I don't even know their
names. Of course I might have learned hadi asked,
because I suppose Aunt Jane knows — ^but I haven't
heard their names yet. Our nearest neighbor at
home is three and one half miles away, and yet
you know how well we are acquainted and how
sociable we are: how we sometimes **just run
over'* — on horseback— to borrow a loaf of bread
or a pound of butter. Such things aren't pos-
sible here because the store is so handy. Our
neighbors on the other side of our house are a
little more sociable. They belong more to our
**set." They have a nice little boy— about nine-
teen—who talks to me over the fence. He is not
a bit stuck up. He has a pony which he says he
will let me ride.
Well, I have joined both the Sunday school and
the Mutual. I haven't been on the program yet
for which I am thankful. But fatner, I have
received a very, very sad disappointment. I had
imagined that here in this big city the people would
be so precise, so correct in everything that I was
afraid I couldn't live up to their standard. I
thought the young people here with all their
advantages in the way of schools, churches, and
social gatherings would be nearly perfect, at least
in the way of deportment ; but alas— what shall I
sayf I had better say nothing.
Well, now about school. It was all so strange
at first, and the having to go from one room to
another at the change of classes was odd; but I
like the system, as it is restful to change rooms
and teachers. As I was late in beginning, the
principal thought I had better take some prepara-
tory studies, at least for half a year. Then I
might join the regular first year's class. I fear my
**credits" weren't of a very high order,or at least
they thoufirht so. These must, as you know, be
162 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
obtained at some well-known school. "Piney
Ridge College" wasn't in the accredited list.
They don't know, do they, how we two out in the
big open valley by the grove read the Idyls of
the Kings, the Merchant of Venice, Paradise
Lost, and a lot more not so classical. So I had
to take a special, which is all right, I guess.
There isn't much about teaching in it, but they
say my studies will lead up to the teaching sub-
jects. There must be a right foundation, you
know. After awhile I am going to learn how to
cook scientifically, so that maybe when you come
home you'll have potatoes a la something and
current pie made according to rule.
But really the school is lovely. After the strange-
ness wore off, I enjoyed the spirit of the
school more. The teachers are Latter-day Saints,
and they carry the spirit of the gospel into their
classes. Every morning we have devotional
exercises, where there is singing, prayer and a
little preaching. Then we all go to the theology
classes. I study the Book of Mormon, and it's
just fine. The teacher brings out points that I
had not thought of before. It's just like going
to Sunday school every morning— and you know
how I lUsie Sunday school.
But I'll have to quit for today. I fear that you
will think that Aunt Jane's talk is catching.
Next day : This letter will have to have double
postage anyway, so I am goins: to make it longer.
Dear father, I am more thankful every day
that I have been trained to help myself, and not
be dependent on others. You know how Rose
and Marcie are. I think it's awful. They are so
thoughtless they don't see that their mother
is getting old and weak. Yet they expect to be
waited on as if they were children. 1 see to it that
my coming hasn't increased her work. I hope it
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 163
has decreased it, as I intend it shall. Every
Monday we wash— Aunt Jane and I. I get up
early and could have half of it done before break-
fast if she would let me ; but she will get up too
and potter around. My, what a lot of white
waists and other things the girls have to be
washed and ironed — ^by their mother. I was
afraid I couldn^t iron the finery, but I watched
Aunt Jane and soon learned how. Rose and
Marcie don't know yet that their waists are of my
washing and ironing. I have learned that the
excuse Aunt Jane gave for the girls is good
only in part. I know their hours are long and
tiresome, but they could cut out some of their
gadding. They would find that helping their
mother would be a rest— a change is as good as
a rest, as I told them the other day. Oh, yes,
I'm getting over my timidity, and I speak right
**Do you know,'^ I said to them, '*that your
mother is getting oldf "
'*Yes; I've noticed how gray her hair is,^' re-
"And she's getting: weak, too,'* said I, **not
able to do as much work as she used to do. I
think you girls ought to help her."
*'My ! we haven't time for any housework. ^^
They looked at me so funny, for I said it em-
**No one," I went on, *'and especially a dear
mother, should ever wear herself out waiting on
me, if 1 were able to wait on myself."
**0h, you don't understand, Julia," they said.
'*No, nor you either. If you understood what
you are doing, you would not do it. Perhaps
you'll understand when your mother^s gone—
worked herself to death — perhaps," I added. •
164 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
Well, they think I am a * 'funny girl.'^
We are all well. Write me a long letter and
give me a good scolding for what I have written,
B yon like, but send also, as I send you, much
The very day that Julia mailed her long letter
to her father, she, as if in recompense, received
one, not from her father, but from Chester Law-
rence. It was dated at Chicago, and read as
My Dear Sister Julia:
You said I might call you sister, and now I
have a double right to do so : I was baptized two
weeks ago today. I have restrained myself from
writing to you until now. but I cannot longer
resist. I hope you will be glad of the news,
because I must tell you that you had much to do
with the step I have taken. I never have been
so happy in my life.
As you know, I have lived all my life under a
cloud. Something seems to have been pressing me
under all the time, but now, thanks be to the Lord,
and shall I say to you, I feel as light as a feather.
The cloud has lifted, and I am beginning to see
more clearly the beautiful blue of the sky of life.
I have not taken this step rashly, and it hasn't
been altogether easy. You perhaps know that
my foster parents would not send me to my
mother, for fear that I would grow up to be a
"Mormon;*' and now to think that I have joined
that Church anyway after all their pains to keep
me from it— well, it has nearly broken their
hearts. Mother, somehow, doesn't take it so
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 165
badly as I had expected her to do. She doesn't
say much now. She is getting a little old and
feeble. I believe that deep down in her heart
she knows "Mormonism" is true, though she
never will say it in so many words.
So you can see that I have had just a little
trial, though I ought not to call it a trial, when
I think of the blessings I have found.
Let me tell you just what it was that decided
me. Of course I read everything I could get —
some things against also. Then I hunted up the
elders wherever I went, as well as here in Chica-
go, and invariably I found them to be possessed
of the same kindly yet enthusiastic spirit. This
was noticeable, for this uniformity does not exist
among the preachers of the other churches. I
read in the scriptures that the Spirit of Christ is
one: this, then, was a testimony. Again, I found
the elders to be clean men. None of them
smoked, drank or ever told bad stories. They
might be rough and uncouth in their ways, but
they were clean morally, and that appealed to me
strongly. These boys, thinks I, are fair samples
of the great majority of the "Mormons.'^ I nad
been led to believe that the "Mormons" were a
bad people — this had been bred into me, and it
was not easy to change. Yet here was the unde-
niable truth. There is something strange, I
thought, in a condition wherein a people are uni-
versally and persistently called bad, when in
truth they are not bad. I found my answer to
that also in the scriptures. So I went on step by
step in my investigation, and each time *'Mor-
monism'^ won out.
Now to the point of decision. A tree must be
judged by its fruits. You, Julia, are a product
of Mormonism.'^ A system that produces girls
like Julia Elston must be superlatively good.
166 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
You grew up apart from the world, apart from
its active influences. *'Mormonism'^ was bom
and bred in you, and it has nourished you until
now. I know, in a small degree what you are. I
have caught a glimpse of your heart and seen part
way into the depth of your soul. Up there on the
sides of Old Thunder, next to heaven, that was —
and at other times. Then I said. If '*Mormon-
ism" has made this girl, it must begin its mould-
ing force on me— and that just as soon as pos-
sible. I was baptized.
I am going to Utah again. Something draws
me westward. I am going to give up for good my
business here and find someming out there with
you. I want mother to go with me, but she says
no. She is not strong enough for the journey,
she claims. I have told her all about you^ and
she listens quietly, I don't know what she thmks.
I wish you could get acquainted with her. She
couldn't help loving you, I am sure.
You did not tell me in your last letter your
father's address. Please don't forget this time
as I want to write him. May I hope for an early
reply to this letter! I expect to be in Salt Lake
by Christmas. I would like to hear from you
before I leave here.
I am sincerely yours,
Julia, after finishing the letter, looked a long
time out of the window. The short day was clos-
ing, and there were signs of snow in the air. She
was glad that Chester had joined the Church,
and yet the joy for her was not altogether perfect.
Would he stick to itf Did he join for a purpose
other than for the truth and his soul's salvation?
No; she did not think so. He seemed to her
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 167
always to be so sincere, so gentle, so open-
hearted. She liked him and his company, yet
she wished that evening he would not come to
Salt Lake. Why, she could not tell.
The click of the sewing machine came up to
her from down stairs. Aunt Jane had been work-
ing on a dress for Rose for a week. It was to be
finished that evening, but the work was behind.
Aunt Jane had not been well, so she could not sit
steadily at the sewing. This particular dress
was to be a fine one for an especially grand occa-
sion. Julia had seen the mother's unusual
worry and she had lessened her other duties as
much as possible.
Julia opened her letter, turned to the dim light
to see if she could read again ; but the room was
too dark. She placed it on the dresser, and went
down stairs. Just then the front door opened
and closed with a bang, as Rose rushed in, hung
up her hat, and threw her coat across a chair.
'My dress ready yet?" she asked.
Rose went to the machine and looked at the
dress, far from being finished. *'0h. Ma, you
said you'd have it done— and now, what in the
world shall I do!"
*'I've done my best, but I've not been able.
Turn on the light, Julia, and we'll see if it can't
be done yet. Julia can help with the button
holes, and you Rose — "
"But, Ma, I need everv minute of time to get
168 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
ready. ^' The girl picked up the dress and held it
out ruefully. **But what's the use,'' she said bit-
terly. "You can't possibly have it done by the
time I need to put it on. Oh, Ma, I just think
this is awful!"
The mother with trembling fingers gathered up
the dress again. She was very quiet, noticeable
in Aunt Jane.
**Julia,you getsome supper for yourself and the
girls. I'll go on with the dress."
Bose, as did Julia, saw that the task was
hopeless. Then tears of uncontrolled anger and
resentment came into Rose's eyes. She rushed
upstairs to her room, sobbing out her bitter dis-
The machine clicked again. Julia went into
the kitchen. A big lump was in her throat. She
replenished the fire in the range, and placed the
tea-kettle on. Wouldn't they eat in the kitchen?
she asked, seeing the dinning room table was litr
tered with sewing that ought not to be disturbed.
**Yes," replied Aunt Jane, not looking up from
Julia busied herself in the kitchen. Click, click
went the machine in the other room, then it
stopped and did not start again. Julia was glad
she had got through with the long seams. The
machine was an old one and hard running. Sup-
per was about ready. Should she go in and help
with the button holes? Should she? Rose just
deserved to get left, the way she treated her
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 169
mother— but— well, for Aunt Jane's sake she
The front door again opened and Marcie en-
tered more deliberately. She was not bidden to
the grand affair ; she had time to hang up both
her coat and hat. Julia heard her say something
to her mother, then came a scream, and an
excited call of "Rose, Julia!"
Julia pushed the swinging door open and saw
Marcie bending over her mother whose head lay
helplessly on the machine.
**Mother, mother!" called Marcie. **0h, what
is the matter!" The girl lifted up her mother's
head. Her face was pale with a cruel red mark
on her cheek where it had hit a sharp point on
the machine. **Rose!" shouted Marcie again.
Mother's— oh, Julia, is she dead?"
No, no — she has just fainted. She isn't dead
— be quiet."
Rose appeared in the doorway, and with a cry
ran to her mother. They lifted the limp form
from the chair by the machine to the sofa. Then
they bathed her face, and unloosed her clothing,
and in a few minutes she opened her eyes. She
lay perfectly quiet, but looked strangely around.
This was an entirely new experience, both for
her and the girls. A sigh of great relief escaped
them when they saw the mother revive.
* 'Mother, are you better? What can we do
for youf How did you hurt your face like this?"
The mother was quiet, but as the girls plied
her with questions, she at last said in a weak
170 PINEY KIDdE COTTAdE
voice, *'I just want to rest." Then she turned
and closed her eyes again. After a time, when
they had assured themselves that she was sleep-
ing, they drew a cover over her, and turned out
the light. In the kitchen by the uneaten sup-
per, the girls talked.
* 'Mother has never done this before," said
**No; she has never been so weak and so tired
before," said Julia.
I guess we're thoughtless," suggested Marcie.
Your mother," continued Julia, has worn her-
self out— for— working for— you girls — and you
do not seem to understand it."
The others said nothing. This was no time to
resent Julia's ''preaching," as they called it;
besides,they could not deny what she said.
*'She must have fainted and fallen on the
machine. That's an awful bump she got," re-
**Yes;" explained Julia, "I heard the machine
going as she worked on Rose's dress, which it
seems had to be ready ; and the machine stopped
and I thought she was through with it."
Rose with new tears in her eyes spoke at last.
Suppose she had died!" she said.
She will die some day," said Julia. **Girls,
let's try to remember that now. We'll not forget
it afterwards, but, oh, how much better to keep
it in mind now— now — "
"And act accordingly," said Rose throufirh her
Chester Lawrence arrived in Salt Lake a week
before Christmas, and he called immediately on
Julia. Marcie and Rose took a lively interest in
'*Look here, Julia, you're a sly one," remarked
Rose the evening after his first visit. **Why
didn't you tell us you had a beau? He's a dwidy
—and all the way from Chicago!"
Julia laughed with just a trace of embarrass-
ment. **He's not my beau," she said.
''That'll do to tell. Say, who is he? Where
did you get acquainted with himf Gee, he's fine
**Is he?" asked Julia.
*'Now, innocence! But, honest, who is he?"
* 'Didn't I introduce you? His name is Chester
Lawrence. He— he is a friend of father's."
That is as far as she would go. She did not
want to tell the girls any detailed history of the
man. That would do no good; besides it might
make it annoying for him. But what of Aunt
Jane? She had known his mother, and she might
have heard the boy's name. Chester, so her
father had declared, had the voice and looks of
But Aunt Jane did not recognize him, not
at first; and Julia noticed carefully. The
172 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
mother went about her work as nsnal, with slow-
er steps, and a modulation in her copious talk.
The girls were a little more thoughtful and con-
siderate since the scare they had received. Rose
had missed that ""fine affair" and she and Marcie
had finished the dress.
Chester brought his certificate of membership
with him, and joined the ward wherein Julia
lived. He was a regular attendant at Sunday
meetings and at the Mutuals. He usually walked
home with the girls after evening meetings, and
they found him good company. Sunday after-
noons he went with them to the Tabernacle or
spent the time at their home. His gentlemanly
bearing and his attentiveness completely won
them all, even to Aunt Jane. The Christmas
holidays came,and he took part with them. The
people of the ward began te call him * 'Julia's
•* Julia," said Aunt Jane one day, ''Brother
Lawrence reminds tne so much of your father's
first wife. I have noticed it lately. I wasn't very
well acquainted with her— what was her maiden
"It was Lawrence," Julia replied.
"I thought so. You of course would never
know, but your father would have noticed the
strange resemblance. Did he ever say anything
Julia would have to tell the truth or hedge.
She might as well confide in Aunt Jane. She
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 173
had thought of doing it anyway, for it was hard
to keep the secret alone. She wanted someone
to whom she could talk freely.
**Aunt Jane, I want to tell you something; but
I am going to ask you not to tell it to the girls or
to anyone else.*'
*'You perhaps know that father's first wife had
a son before she married father."
"I heard about it—yes."
*'Well, Chester Lawrence is that son.*'
'*You don't say! Well, well— that explains the
resemblance, of course.'' Then these two ex-
changed a good many confidences, and Julia felt
better that she had placed part of her burden on
One Sunday evening, shortly after the first of
the year, a company of young people were gath-
ered in Aunt Jane's parlor. The wind was blow-
ing with cold and snow outside, and the fire in
the grate felt good and looked cozy. One more
was added to the usual group consisting of Aunt
Jane, Chester and the three girls. This was Will
Summerville, a lately returned missionary. Will
had kept company with Marcie before he had
gone on his mission, and they had exchanged a
good many letters during the two years of his
absence. The returned elder was the center of
interest that evening. What a diflference there
was in his freedom of speech and his easy man-
ner from the somewhat shy young man who had
174 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
left them twenty-six months before! Mq,rcie
looked with admiring eyes at the strong face, the
straight, manly form ; Rose plied him with ques-
tions ; Julia listened with deep interest ; and Ches-
ter profited very much by what was said.
**And you went to Paris," said Rose. *'How
fine ! Tell us about Paris . ' '
"Pd better show you some views, '^ said Will.
**These can tell you more than I"— and he
brought from his overcoat pocket a package of
post cards. "I bought cards of every place I
visited. They are cheap, and if you are careful
you can get some very srood ones. Then I just
wrote the date of my visit in the comer— and
here I have an illustrated account of my travels.''
The cards were examined while Will delivered
the descriptive talk which followed the exhibition.
"That's the Eifel Tower. The elevator crawls
up that leg to the first platform. Even from that
elevation the houses are far below. Then we go
straight up, up to the second stage, and then on
to the top. One can stop at each of the plat-
forms. The top is nearly one thousand feet from
ground, and Paris lies below like a toy city. * *
This is the Arch de Triumph from which a fine
view may be had of the boulevards. That build-
ing is the Louvre, the great art gallery. One
needs a week at least to see it. It is useless to
try to see everything here, so the way I did was
to select just a limited number of pictures that I
had heard of or seen copies of, and these I found
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 175
and took a good look at. One can*t stand too
much picture gazing at one time, so the best way
is to spend an hour or so each day if that is pos-
sible. * * The Grand Opera House? Yes,
that's the place where I had a comfortable nap."
What! Went to sleep?"
Well, it was a terrible thing to do, no doubt;
but it was this way : we had had a most strenu-
ous day. I was so tired I could hardly walk;
but we had to see the Opera House. We pur-
chased the cheapest tickets which brought us up
by the roof in one comer where we could see
but half the stage. It was very hot up there, and
I was very tired. Then there was the bad air and
the beautiful music— well, I went to sleep. I
couldn't understand the singing, anyway."
'What a sacrilege 1" exclaimed Rose.
Granted," agreed Will— **but I can say I've
been there, and I don't tell everyone the details.
By the way, there is something interesting about
tMs opera house. It is a magnificent building, of
course; but I was surprised at the genuine de-
mocracy found there. Between the acts every-
body leave their seats and promenade in the
Grand Salon, a large room in front. They come
from the cheap top seats to the finest and most
expensive, and the cap and short coat of the
tourist may be seen along with the elegant gowns
from the boxes. Such a thing wouldn't be
allowed in a London theatre.''
176 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
**And what about the fine ladies in Paris?"
**I didn't see any."
"Didn't see any? How's that?"
**I saw two kinds of women in Paris: the
working class, which appeared to me coarse and
not beautiful, by any means; the supposedly fine
women were so bedaubed with what we western-
ers commonly call *paint/ that I could not tell
whether they were beautiful or not. Certainly,
the painted effect is not beautiful, it is most re-
pulsive to me."
**0h," said Eose glancing at her sister as
though they were not altogether free from the
vanity of an artificial complexion.
Will continued his description, and his com-
ments on the countries he had seen, which in-
cluded Switzerland, Holland and a part of Ger-
many. It was all very interesting, and the com-
pany listened and looked as if they were pleased.
Supper being ready. Aunt Jane announced that
fact to the company. Around the table the con-
versation continued on various topics.
**You know," said Will, **we often hear how
we 'Mormons' treat or mistreat our women. They
tell us we plow the field with them, and make
them generally beasts of burden. Well, one day
in Germany, I saw eight women abreast hoeing
in a field. I went out and took a snap at them
with my kodak, and made some pictures to
show that in Germany rather than in Utah the
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 177
women do field work. I have never seen a woman
do farm work here.^'
** Julia here is a farmer," suggested Eose.
**She can milk cows, make butter, and do all
**Yes, and I can hitch up the horses and pitch
hay too, if necessary,^' said Julia.
**Besides bake bread and turn out a washing,
which is more to the point in this household,"
added Aunt Jane."
**I believe I'd like to go on a mission," said
Julia, by way of turning the conversation.
**There's no great encouragement for lady mis-
sionaries in Europe at present," said Will.
**They had better stay at home and teach
"There you are, Julia, that's encouragement
for you," put in Marcie.
"There'll have to be a lot of lady teachers, for
the men are all leaving the profession."
"Aren't you going to teach again?" asked
"I?" asked Will. "I'm through with school
teaching. The great mistake I made was in
hanging on to it so long."
"I had thought of preparing for something like
that myself," said Chester. "I have been hesi-
tating between the teacher and the doctor. I
understand it will take about the same amount of
time to properly prepare for each."
"Then let me help you decide," suggested
178 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
Will. **I suppose you would want to make a
living at teaching?' *
"Have you investigated the question of sal-
**Not much; no."
**Well, you had better do that.''
**But there^s a lot of good to be done by
**True. I'm not saying anything against that.
If you have an income from some other source,
teach for the good you can do. Sacrifice your-
self for the good of your country," exclaimed the
speaker somewhat dramatically, with fork in
air. The girls laughed.
**Be a doctor,'' continued Will, '*I'm going in
for it at this late day. It's the only sure thing.
We two will form a partnership and defy the
doctor's trust. Until the Millennium people are
going to get sick, and we will never run out of a
job, because people will spend all they have to be
freed from ailments of the flesh, and the doctors
know it. But seriously, let me give you a little
history. Clinton Brown and I were schoolmates.
We both were enthusiastic to become educators
of the rising generation. We taught for two
years out in Stringtown at a salary of sixty dol-
lars, eight months— figure that out, Marcie. Well,
Clint looked ahead. He quit teaching, went to
Chicago and studied medicine. Being a bright
fellow and studious, he completed his course in
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 179
three years. That was before I left for my mis-
sion. Clint has now a big practice in this city.
He has already reached the automobile stage in
his material advancement. Think of a school
teacher ever owning an automobile! A school
teacher has no business to get married or make a
'You're not serious now," said Rose.
Well," he laughed, *'yes, I am. Alia school
teacher should have is a tent, which, when the
trustees discharge him, he can, like the Arab, sil-
ently fold and steal away."
**How do you account for this difference m
prestige between the doctor and the teacher?"
**In this, that people still think more of their
bodies than they do of their souls."
**I think it is time we were changing the sub-
ject," said Marcie. "Julia here will be so dis-
couraged if we don't.''
'*0h, this doesn't apply to the girls," Will hast-
ened to explain. '*They ought to have a few
years of teaching. It's good training for them,
preparatory for the real business of life— getting
married and raising a family. No, Sister Elston,
you go right on."
Will Summerville **brothered" and **sistered"
everybody, the girls noticed. **He's a newly re-
turned missionary," remarked Rose. **He'll get
over that in due time. They all do."
**Why should they?" asked Julia. **We
180 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
always say brother and sister out in the country.
I think it sounds better/'
**So do I,'^ added Chester.
Aunt Jane did not say much. This was the
young people's evening. When supper was over
she sent them all into the parlor again, while she
began to clear the table. Will became quieter,
letting Rose and Chester do most of the talking.
Julia slipped out into the kitchen, but she soon
came back. Aunt Jane could be heard going
back and forth with the dishes— at least Will Sum-
merville heard her. He heard her put the dishes
in the pan, then pour the water on, and then he
knew she was washing them. He became unusu-
ally quiet. The others gathered around the
piano, and urged him to join them in the songs.
He looked at Eose, and more closely at Marcie
seated on the piano stool. The electric lights
glowed down on her shapely head, and her pretty
face was full of color. Will could see that she
was not the least disturbed because her mother
had cleared the table alone and was now washing
a large stack of dishes in the kitchen. A little
ache clung around Will's heart when he realized
that fact. Was Marcie that kind of girl? It was
just thoughtlessness, he knew, but it told so
much. The girls were to entertain the company.
That was what Aunt Jane had told Julia, and
would have told her daughters. But Will knew
that this was the custom or it could not have
been done so easily.
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
The dishes still rattled in the kitchen. Will
slipped out and was not noticed for a few min-
utes. Then they heard him talking to Aunt Jane,
and one person at least decided ui her own mind
that her company had become tiresome. As he
did not come back, Rose went out to investigate.
"Well, the idea!" she exclaimed.
The others also filed into the kitchen to see
what was going on. There was Will Summer-
ville with Aimt Jane's big apron tied around him,
wiping the dishes she was washing and stacking
on the table. The girls tried to get the drying
cloth from him, but he stuck to his post.
"Go back and finish your song," said he.
"Aunt Jane and I will join you when the dishes
They went back; but there was no singing.
The girls tried to laugh, but somehow the atinos-
phere had changed. The pauses became painful
mitil Will and Aunt Jane, having finished their
task, came in, and he with his big, fine voice
"We thank Thee, God, for a Prophet."
Julia's school days went pleasantly and swiftly,
and ere she was aware the winter was passing.
Lessons would be over all too soon for her. She
was just beginning to get a glimpse of that fairy
land which for the student lies in books. She
was one of the older members of her classes, with
mind more matured. Towards the end of the
school year she was encouraged to continue on
with her studies so that she might enter the
second year at the beginning of the next year.
Her father wrote her every week. His letters
were full of encouragement and cheer, for he hid
from her the fact that the English climate was
not agreeing with him. He who had lived most of
his days in the high and dry altitude of the West
could not stand the low, wet England. He wrote
of his missionary experiences, and then he coun-
seled her, trying to talk through the pen in his
old familiar way— and these letters were a great
comfort to the sometimes lonely girl.
With the coming of spring's warm sunshine,
the green grass and the bursting trees, Julia felt
a tugging at her heart to be out and away — away
to the stretch of sagebrush, to the big horizon, to
the unsullied air, and to all the enticing wilder-
ness of Piney Ridge Cottage. Sometimes she
climbed up the hill to the north of the school to
_ »m^^ ■
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
get a "lookout;" bat the view was disappoint-
ing. The city at her feet was covered with
a black cloud which even hid the distant moun-
tains and the sparkling lake. She wondered
how people could be satisfied to breathe such
blackness which poured from the chimneys and
spread into the air. She had read of the early
pioneers, and in fancy she saw them emerge
from Emigration Canyon and make their camps
on the sage-brush plain of the valley. What a
change had taken placet Would the Flat and
Piney Ridge also be thus transformed? She
"But it's bound to come," said Chester Law-
rence, who sometimes met her at the school-
yard gate and walked with her up to the hills,
"It is only a matter of a few years, when all that
barren country will be settled. Of course, there
may not be any large city to fill the air with
smoke, but there will be plenty of neighbors."
"Well, I won't object to neighbors if they are
the right kind," said Julia.
"You expect to go back to Piney Ridge Cot^
tage, I see."
"I do. City life hasn't weaned me yet. I don't
think it will. I hope it will not. I want to go
to school, oh, a long, long time, then I am goinir
to Piney Ridge to live.
"But most people leave the country for t
city to live, as you say. According to the co:
mon theory, in order to really live one must ha
184 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
big houses, big crowds, noise of traffic, theatres,
parties, society — "
**Tastes differ. Mine, I suppose is strange, as
I am an odd girl. What I want right now is a
gallop over the hills of Piney Bidge or a scram-
ble up the sides of Old Thunder."
They were resting on a green bank. Julia's
hat lay on the grass. Chester Lawrence fanned
his face with his new Panama.
'Who said you are odd?" he asked.
0, many have called me that. I suppose liv-
ing so long all by myself has something to do
**There is an oddness that is very attractive,
Julia. In your case I wouldn't call it oddness,
however, I would call it individuality?"
She looked at him, and he avoided her clear,
steady eyes. *'I have seen thousands of women,
I know hundreds of them, but I have never met
one just like you.''
**I guess not. You know, of the thousands of
leaves on a tree no two are alike. It's just the
same with human beings, I suppose."
**True; but I don't mean that. No one has
appealed to me like you have, Julia." * *
**It's because you never had a sister, and I am
a sort of sister to you, you know."
**You are more than a sister, you know I love
you in quite a different way. I have not said so
as directly before, but I have tried to tell it to
you in many ways which you can understand."
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 185
Julia became quiet. Her eyes roamed no more
to distant hill or valley, but looked down to the
grass which she pulled aimlessly up by the roots.
**I hope you are not angry with me for speak-
ing so plainly. I couldn't help it. I have car-
ried my burden of love alone as long as I can.
You must now know of it. Think about it, Julia.
Think of me the best you can. But, oh, dear
girl, if you only knew what you have done for
me, if you could only realize what you are to me,
you would not despise me—"
1 don't despise you— don't say that."
'No, of course not— but I want you to love me,
too. You do, you can do that, can you not?"
The girl leaned her arm on her bundle of books
and peered into the black cloud below. The sun
streamed through a rift near the western moun-
tain. Her face flushed and paled in the light of
"Tell me. Give me a word of encourage-
ment.'' ♦ *
**What shall I say?"
**Say you love me. * * Can't you say that?"
**I don't know."
**What does your heart say, Julia?**
**I don't know. * * I' m only a simple, ignor-
ant girl. I don't know much."
**There is wisdom not found in books, and you
have a large store of that. Why, I thought I
186 PINEY RIDGE OOTTAaE
knew something once upon a time. I have found
out how ignorant I was. True wisdom has come
to me through the gospel, and I owe^ that to
^No you don't. The Lord is the Giver."
True; but you were the instrument."
1 haven't done anjrthing. * * It is getting
late. Let's go home."
She arose and brushed the grass from her
**May I walk home with you?" asked he.
**Why. of course."
"And you're not angry with mef "
'*No; certainly not."
**But, Julia, before we go, won't you say a
word more to me. May I not continue to love
you with the hope of some day making you my
**0h, Chester, I— I"— the tears were in her
eyes, and he longed to take her in his arms. — **I
have never thought of such a thing. I'm not
going to get married— not for a long time, any-
way. I have so much to do. I want to go to
school, andthenl'mfather^s housekeeper— and—
let's go. Aunt Jane will wonder where I am."
They went down the hill and along the street,
Chester carrying her bundle of books. Neither
could say much, not even on commonplace mat-
ters. He would not go in the house, but parted
with her at the gate.
**Good night," he said tenderly. **Don^t forget
PINEY RIDaE COTTAaE 187
that I love you— and that you are to love me—
don't forget— goodnight."
It was hard for Julia to get her lessons that
evening. She went to bed early, so that she
might think of what Chester had said. What did
it meant There was Glen Curtis somewhere to
the south who had said the same thing in a dif-
ferent way. But he had deserted her completely.
A card at Christmas had been the only token
from him, and she had neglected to send one in
return until she was ashamed— it was too late.
Chester had been so attentive, so kind and good.
Would it not be the greatest unkindness to disap-
point him? He was such good company. * *
But did she love him? * * What is this they
call love? Books are written about it, poets sing
about it. By all the signs she had ever read of,
it ought to bring thrills of purest delight, heart
burning with joy, a soul overflowing with content-
ment and peace. She had never experienced
these things. Did she love Chester? Did she
'*I don't know,^' she said aloud, **I don't
know." The tears wet her pillow, and it was a
long time before she went to sleep.
The very next day Chester met her a^ain at
the school-yard gate, lifted his hat, smiled pleas-
antly, and took her books. She usually walked
home, and they swung along side by side. He
was his usual self. He talked to her of incidents
in the office where he was employed, how he had
188 PINEY RIDGE COTTAaE
taken part in a discussion on **Mormonism" and
the result. She was quiet, but he appeared not
to notice. Arriving at the house he went in
and chatted a few minutes with Aunt Jane.
Then he left by bidding them a pleasant good
evening. Not a word was said about the inci-
dent of the evening before.
Day by day Chester showed his attentiveness.
He was careful. He did not force his attentions.
What denial could Julia offer to such whole-
hearted devotion? She thought very kindly of
the man who was so wholly good and kind.
One day Aunt Jane asked her, ** Julia, are you
and Brother Lawrence engaged? ' ^
The girl starts at the question. **Why, no,
certainly not,*' she replied.
**Well, it looks like it," said Aunt Jane. Peo-
ple do not usually keep such steady company
unless they are engaged. I just wanted to
**Aunt Jane, is it wrong to be together so
much if we are not engaged?"
**No; there's nothing wrong that I can see;
only young people ought to be careful not to en-
courage where they cannot or will not fulfill.
Chester is very attentive and if he hasn't already
asked you to be his wife he will shortly, 1 have no
doubt. Then you'll have to say something
Julia said nothing then at any rate.
**You*re encouraging him to think you will say
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 189
yes," continued Aunt Jane. '*Don't you love
I don^t know, Auntie/'
^Well, you had better find out, and that as
soon as possible, it seems to me, if you want to
Aunt Jane's words awoke Julia. Was she doing
right? Suppose she never could say yes to Ches-
ter, what then? He was patiently serving her
day by day, and she was accepting that service.
Although he never spoke as plainly as he did
that afternoon on the hillside, he let her know by
subtle word or deed that he loved her, and took
her return kindness as an acceptance of that love.
Julia thought of his life's story, of the disadvan-
tages he had been under, of his acceptance of the
gospel against much opposition. She could not
desert him. His mother, where and what was
she? Outside the Church — ^in the dark. Could
she not be helped? Julia's mother had wanted
to help her, but she was denied that. Could
not Julia herself do something for her mother's
sake? How? By helping the son, by loving
that son, by becoming his wife, as he so earnestly
Julia wrote her father all about Chester and
herself. She tried to tell him freely her own feel-
ings, but she had to acknowledge that the expla-
nation was not very clear. Then she waited for
an answer. The spring months passed and the
school closed. Julia wanted to go to Piney
190 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
Bidge. Chester said he would go with her, but
Aunt Jane advised against her going. If she
were to catch up in her classes she would better
keep on with her studies at home. After a while
the girls would have their summer vacation, and
they would go with her to Piney Hidge. So Julia
remained studying a little, fretting some, and
thinking much. She was in the lull before the
Man plans and proposes, but the "Mormon''
missionary system steps in, frustrates the plans,
and scatters the propositions to the four winds.
Glen Curtis had just closed his second year of
teaching. He had been exceedingly careful of
his money all the winter, so he had enough
saved that he might go on with his education at
the University. The summer he would spend in
the open country on the Flat, where he could aug-
ment his pocket book and harden his muscles.
His trunk was packed and the day set for his
departure. He had let the srood people know
that he was not coming back, and they said they
Glen called at the postoflBce for the last time
for mail. Letters for him were few, and he had
long since given up looking for so much as a
card from Salt Lake. He thought that he
might get some reply to the one he had sent
at Christmas, but none had ever come. What's
the use? he had thought. She don't care a snap
— she won't even send me a card.
The postmaster threw him a letter with "that's
all." Glen glanced at the typewritten address,
cut the edge with his knife, and opened the sin-
gle sheet. What! He read it again. Yes, it
192 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
was a call for Glen Curtis to go on a mission to
Glen walked out in a dazed way, and sauntered
down the street. He had not had the slightest
inkling of this. What of his schooling now?
What of his cherished plang? All gone I * *
It was a soft evenins: in early summer. Glen did
' not go directly home. He strolled down to the
bridge which spanned the creek. The rushing
water was music to him. He leaned on the rail-
ing. Then he took out his letter and read it
again. He had always expected such a letter,
and now it had come. Well, he would accept,
of course. Refusal never enters the mind of a
true Latter-day Saint; but he needed a little time
by himself to readjust himself to this crisis which
had come into his life.
It was dark when he went back to the town,
after a long tramp by the river. He was happy
now — such a wonderful joy sang in his heart. He
had the money with which to go and with which
to support himself. He could finish his school-
ing afterwards — the Lord would open the way.
He showed his letter to the folks with whom he
was staying, chuckling over it as if it were some
'Are you going?" they asked.
Of course I'm going— I'm going right up to
Salt Lake and report that I am ready. Just a
trip home and I am oflE."
The next day Glen took the train for Salt Lake.
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 193
He called at the President's office, announced his
willingness, and explamed his circumstances. He
could go within a month, within a week, if ne-
cessary. A company was to leave in ten days.
Would he be ready! Yes.
Should he call on Julia! He would have to
consider carefully, and he did so while he was
eatinc: his dinner at a restaurant. He had her
address. The place was easily found. But what
was the use! Julia never cared for him. Should
he call she might snub him. The folks with whom
she lived were strangers to him. * ♦ But he
must see her once more. ''Hope springs eternal
in the human breast." Perhaps she was yet
heart free. Chester Lawrence, he knew, lived in
the city, but there might not be anything serious
between them. He straightened his tie and went
out. He would walk; street cars set one down
too suddenly at the door.
It was late in the afternoon before he got
through with some business, and he walked out
toward the Borden home. The electric bell made
a startling noise in a quiet house. Glen's heart
beat fast when he heard someone coming. The
door opened, showing an elderly woman.
*'Is this where Miss Elston lives!" asked Glen.
**Is she at home!"
**No, sir; she went out a few minutes ago."
**Will she be long away!"
"Well, I can't say exactly."
194 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
"My name is Curtis. Hive up on the Flat, and
I thought I would just call on Julia before I leave
for my mission."
"Yes, indeed. She will be glad to see you.
Won't you come in and wait?'*
"Could I overtake her, do you think, if you
should tell me the direction she tookf
"You might. She usually walks toward the
park. Do you know where Liberty Park isf
"No; I do not.''
"Well, just turn to the left at the next street
and go straight ahead. You'll find it easily."
"Thank you— good afternoon.*'
"And if you don't find her you had better come
Glen followed directions. There were a number
of people on the sidewalks, but none that resem-
bled Julia. He kept on down the street, arriv-
ing at the park in good time. As he walked
under the tall trees whose interlacing tops waved
over his head, he thought, What a beautiful
place! Carriages were rolling leisurely around
the wide drive, while automobiles whizzed past.
Then the smoothly clipped lawn stretched away
to other trees, and flowers and shrubbery were
arranged in artistic profusion. Glen's surprise
grew. He had not heard there was such a charm-
ing spot in Salt Lake City.
But there were no signs of Julia, though a good
many people were strolling about or reclining on
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 195
the grrass. Children were enjoying the swings.
At one side of the park Glen found a bunch of
wild roses, some of which he plucked. What is
more dainty than a wild rose ! It reminded him
of someone else— yes, and there were thorns, too.
Wild roses grew along the half-dry water course
which extended down from the mountains out
near Piney Bidge. Glen had plucked a good
many bouquets from those bushes, which bou-
quets had later adorned the Cottage table, send-
ing their sweet, delicate fragrance through the
room. How suggestive is perfume I Memories
sad and sweet filled his mind from those roses.
He went out towards the lawns again where the
light was still strong, and there he found her.
She was sitting on the gi-ass profiled against the
light in the sky. Reclining on the grass close by
her was Chester Lawrence. He was looking up
into her face and talking earnestly to her. Glen
leaned, out of sight, against a tree and gazed.
He could not hear what they were saying, but he
could see the expression on their faces as they
looked at each other and smiled. What had he,
Glen Curtis, come there for! Why had he trailed
herf To see this! Fool that he was— but, oh,
how his heart dropped like a leaden weight, and
his soul tasted of despair I
How beautiful she was ! A little thinner, a little
paler. The tan of the open wilderness had given
place to the soft brown of her natural complex-
ion. Her hat was off. Her brown hair was
196 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
arranged in the city style. Yes; she was a city
girl now, with city ways and city companions.
She wouldn't look at a country boy. * *
Should he go up to themf He might tell her he
was going on a mission, and say goodby. Would
The twilight deepened. The red of the west-
em sky gleamed back of the trees. Still those
two sat on the grass talking and laughing. The
watcher saw Chester's eyes rest on her in devour-
ing eagerness. Well, he could at least look too,
—get her image fixed upon his memory, and then
depart. It would be his last look for a long time
—perhaps forever. His heart called, * 'Julia,
Julia!" but his lips were mute— and she! she
was at that instant looking up with big wonder
in her eyes, listening to what her companion
Then they arose, and Glen hid behind a tree.
They walked side by side across the grass and
out of the park. Glen Curtis, with a bunch of
wUd roses clutched in his hand, hurried towards
town. He carried the flowers for a number of
blocks before he threw them away. He walked
all the way to the station, not even getting tired,
and took the first train for Croft and the Flat
and the folks at home.
** Won't you come inf " Julia asked her compan-
ion. *'It isn't late."
''Yes; for a little while."
PINET EIDGE COTTAGE 197
They went in. Julia found that the girls were
out and Aunt Jane was in bed; so they went
into the parlor. She seated herself at the piano
and touched the keys lightly. "I do wish I could
play," she said, "I must take lessons."
Chester came up to her and placed his hands
lightly on her shoulders. "Julia," he said, "can
you tell me anything yetf " Have you been think-
ing as I asked you? I am waiting so patiently."
She swung around on the stool, and he stood
before her. "You know I am waiting patiently,' '
"Yes; but I don't know yet. You'll have to
"Won't you say yes, tonight— right now!
Oh, Julia— sweetheart— say you love me! I can't
stand the uncertainty longer." He would have
come to her, but she slipped around the table.
Then they both seated themselves, looking at
each other across the pile of books.
"I guess I am not fair to you, Chester," she
said. "I guess I have encouraged you, not know-
ing what I have done. I have been selfish, I
suppose, for I have enjoyed your company. You
have been so good to me."
"Let it continue. Let me still be good to you
—let me make you happier yet."
"No, Chester; you mustn't talk like that— not
yet; for I can't give you any encouragement — '*
"Julia, for God's sake don't say that! Don't
cut me off. Let me hope a little longer. I'll
196 t»INEY RIDGE COTTAGE
give you all the time you want. You'll leam to
love me. My love for you will bring it out."
"Cliester,I'm not saying that I don't love you/'
said Julia deliberately across the table. **I must
have time and you must be patient. Perhaps 1
am doing wrong in going out so much with you.
If so, we will quit. If not, let us go on until I
know more— until my heart speaks with a sure
word. Won't that satisfy youf "
*'Yes; it must, but—"
Here the two girls came in with much noise,
and the conversation had to change its course.
Chester soon said good night.
Bose was chattering. *'I think he's just hor-
rid," she said. ''These returned missionaries are
so religiously straight they can't see half an inch
around a comer."
**If you think he's horrid," retorted Marcie,
"why do you go out with himf "
"Who else can I tag! Julia and her young
man are so shy. I couldn't get near them,
besides — ''
"Girls," shouted Aunt Jane, "make less noise
and go to bed." And Julia was glad of the
The next morning Aunt Jane asked Julia if she
had met the evening before a friend from out
Piney Ridge way.
"No," said Julia, "Did some one call? Who
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 199
**A young man— Curtis, I think his name
'Glen Curtis? I'm sorry I wasn't home. Yes,
he is one of our neighbors. Is he in town, do
"I don't? I told him you had gone for a walk
to the park, likely, and he said he would go down
there and try to find you. He said he was
going on a mission."
**0n a mission! Glen going on a mission?
*'Well, child, I didn't ask him so many ques-
tions. He seemed disappointed in not finding
you— but if he wants to see you very bad, he'll
come around again."
But Aunt Jane did not know Glen Curtis— not
even so well as Julia did, and hers was not a
profound knowledge. Glen did not come again,
and Julia wondered why until it occurred to her
that he had seen Chester and her down in the
park. That had sent him off without so much as
a good-by. Well, she couldn't help it, she said
to herself, though there was a lump in her throat.
That very morning Julia received a letter from
her father in answer to the one in which she had
asked for direction. It was a good letter. Among
the many things he told her was this: "Be
careful, dear daughter, how and to whom you
give your love. Love is such a precious, divine
thing that it must be preserved and protected
from all evil. Pray to God in the fervency of
200 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
your heart for guidance in this matter. I
must not dictate to you. Your heart must do
that; but first you must know your heart, and
know that it is prompting you to do the right. I
can't tell you what you should say to Chester.
So far as I know there are no moral or religious
objections to him— but this T feel like saying:
Wait. It may not be long before I will be with
His letter reminded her of the many times he
had talked to her. She was never to make a
beginning towards love with an outsider. That
was the first rule. Well, Chester was a Church
member, so she was safe there. Then she should
let the Lord preserve her love until the right one
should come. Had he come to her yetf She did
not know. All was dark and uncertainty — and
wasn't that enough to tell her that the Lord had
yet in keeping her treasure! . Had she realized
her ideal! No; not yet.
Julia followed her father's advice, in that she
poured out her heart for guidance in this which
had come pressing so persistently into her life ;
and in time, from out the darkness and uncer-
tainty, there came the light. The next time
Chester Lawrence should speak to her about his
love she would give him a definite answer.
"No, Chester, I can't marry you," said Julia.
"I'm 80 sorry if I have given you undue encour-
agement. I believe I know now— I have more
"What more l^ht have you? What more do
you know about met" He spoke deliberately,
seemingly without feeling. They were seated on
a bench in the park out alone under a tree.
"No; you misunderstand me," she said. "I
don't mean that I have found anything bad or
different about you. I like you just as much as
ever, only I can't marry you. The light doesn't
lie in— in your direction. Oh, I can't help it!"
"In what way does it lie!'' he asked in the
same cold tone.
"In no particular way. It — it just reaches out
"So your future husband is dead, is he?"
"What do you mean! I
"Never mind, Julia. I d
either. Foi^ve me. • •
walked away a few steps to
he stood for a few moments.
"Foi^ve me," he said in a
202 PINEY BIDaE COTTAGE
row took awav my reason when you rejected my
heart. Listen to me. I believe I can talk to you
properly now. Sit down"— she had risen. They
both sat down again.
"Julia, I am not going to give you up. Not
until I die— and not then, for in the great spirit-
world I shall find you and serve you."
Chester, you must, you must!" she moaned.
'Hush, there is no such thing as giving up.
There is no such thing as fail with me in this.
Julia, you have been my star of hope. Shall
that star set in an eternal night of darkness?
No, no ; I cannot stand to think of it I Julia, you
it was that saved me from my own undoing.
I came to this country to do harm. I came with
evil in my heart. You drove it out,you touched
my heart and changed it. From you 1 got my
first glimpse of heaven through your shining
soul I It was you that inspired me to overcome,
that made me strong. You were diflEerent from
other women, from other girls I had known. You
told me, and I understood more than you uttered,
what your ideal was, and Julia, I vowed I would
materialize that vision of your mind. If I have
not done it yet, I shall. I shall not fail, Julia,
for I want you— oh, I must, I must—"
Julia saw emotion play with a strong man as it
might a child; but he shook himself, breathed
freely again, and smiled. Julia, too, became
strong, and she could answer in calmness his
PIKEY RIDGE COTTAGE 203
'*You said, Chester, that you have never given
up anything that you have set your heart on.
Now, for once you must/'
'Yes; you may think that giving up is the
part of weaklings, but it takes a strong, brave
man sometimes to give up. It is sometimes
greater to surrender than to fight. Jesus sur-
rendered, Peter would have fought. You have
won in every battle of life ; you know what vic-
tory is. You can endure to win, but can you
stand to lose?'*
•'Yes; anything but this— but you."
*'It would be nothing to lose a trifle— it would
be no test. That comes when we are called upon
to give up that which we prize most. Can we do
that and still remain clean and strong and not
be crushed to earth?'' The teachings of her
father came clearly to Julia that evening, so that
she seemed to repeat his words.
"But what is life without you? A blank, a
useless existence," he said.
"You may think so now; but you will get over
that. Time is a great healer, I am told."
"You are quite a preacher.'* His tones became
hard again. His voice trembled. Once more
he took refuge in distance, and then came back
"Julia, I have asked the Lord for you. I have
pleaded with Him morning, noon and night. .
He will not refuse me. He knows how my life is
204 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
wrapped up in your life He knows all, for I
have told Him all. I trust him."
The fifirPs power of resistance was nearly spent
against this absolute faith, this firmness of will.
Was she mistaken! Could she be wrong! Ought
she to ruin this man's life! She did love him
enough to prevent that. What was she that she
should send anyone to despair! *'0h, Father,"
she prayed silently, *'help me, help me! * *
Not my will but Thme be done ! Oh, Father! ''
Chester seemed to hear her prayer. Was she
coming to him! Oh, thank the Lord! She would
still be his, and he could live.
"Chester," she said, *'did you end your pray
ersin that way!"
*'In what way!''
** 'Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be
He did not answer.
**You asked for something that you wanted.
You thought you had to have it. You wanted
that thing. Nothing else would do. You put up
your judgment against the Lord's. You would
not allow Him to decide what was for your
Chester was silent still. She was speaking the
truth, and he could not deny it. He had not said
*'Thy will be done.'* Well, this was the end.
The situation came to him that way. But it was
hard, this giving up. His heart cried out in
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 205
agonizing protest, but his reason told him the end
of his beautiful dream had come.
Again the park trees stood dark against the
crimson sky. Again the evening became dim and
cool down amid the grass and trees. The day
noises grew low, and the faint sounds of night
boded of sleep and rest. Julia and Chester
became strangely silent, she gazing out to the
far-off mountains, he looking the other way into
the darkening sky. Her thoughts were home-
ward—out to the heart-free days at Piney Bidge
Cottage. What pain in this love, so-called I
What conflict of feelings, what uncertainty, what
unrest I And she was but a child— a school girl
who had just begun her education. Now this
should come ! If she only had her father to go
to; but no, she was alone. * * *
Chester struggled hard to keep control of
his emotions. Never before had anything like
this come to him. He looked back on his
acquaintanceship with Julia. He could see now
wherein he might have read his fate, but love
had blinded him. He tried to convince himself
that this terrible thing was not true. Julia would
tell him different. If she would but let him hope.
But she had said no. Pshaw, girls may say no
a score of times and then at last say yes. Per-
sistence and constant attention always win. Had
he not seen it many times! Why should he give
up so easily * * But Julia was different. He
had to acknowledge that. Girls who take the
206 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
counsel of wise parents and who go to the Lord
for light and strength to know and do the right
are not easily won from the ideals they form.
They are weaklings who let the attentiveness and
persistence of a man win them over, even though
love is lacking; Julia was no weakling. * *
"Let us go home,'* she said.
They walked on side by side out of the park
into the lighter streets. Neither spoke until they
reached the double gate under the big tree. There
'Will you come in?"
'No; I'll say goodby to you here and now."
'You are not going away? You know, Chester,
you will always be welcome— just as you always
"Yes; I am going away. I cant't live in Salt
Lake with you so near. I must go beyond your
power to draw me to you. I must go away—
away oflE. ' '
"Oh, but I don't want to drive you away. You
remain with your work; I'll— I'll go home."
"Piney Ridge Cottage is not far enough. There
will have to be mountains and seas between us."
"You won't go home?"
"Home? I have no home. I am an outcast.
I thought I should have one here among the
Saints— and do my share— but now — "
"There are others, Chester, many better
"It is useless to talk like that. I shall plead no
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 207
longer. I shall say no more to you. I shall not
annoy you any more."
Julia bowed her head on her hands which
rested on the top of the gate post. Then she
looked up. *'Good night," she said.
He placed his own hands on hers, and she let
them lie there in his firm pressure. "Good night
—and goodby," he said. Then he raised her
hands to his lips, held them there for one intense
nstant, turned and hurried down the street.
' Julia, what have you done with Chester Law-
rence!" asked Rose one day, a week after the
1 haven't done anything with him.'^
Is it all off between you two!"
'He has been my friend; he is still that, I
**But where is he? He hasn't been around for
'*I don't know where he is."
*'Say, Julia, if you didn't want him why didn't
you turn him over to me?" asked Rose mis-
Tou may have him."
'Thanks; when is he coming again?"
Be said he never would call here again."
My I that's a long time for me to wait; but
you must have quarreled. When he does come,
then you look out. ' '
But the weeks passed without Chester appear-
ing. Julia learned that he had quit his work.
No one knew where he had gone. The Bishop
enquired of her, but she could tell him nothing.
He had left no word with anyone that could be
The latter part of August Julia received a letter
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 209
from her father saying that as his health was not
good, he would very likely be released soon. He
had written to his renters at Piney Ridge that he
would be home and able to take care of the place
himself nest year; but he wanted Julia to con-
tinue her school. If she could get out to Piney
Ridge and look after things a bit before he came
home, it might be well.
Could shef Julia jumped at the proposition.
She was sorry for her father's illness, but glad
of the prospect of getting home again. Would
Rose or Marcie go with her? but they could not
arrange their affairs to get oS.
Julia wrote to the people at home telling them
she was coming. Then a few days later she
boarded the train for Croft, where she arrived
early one morning in late August.
Julia went to the little hotel to enquire when the
stage would be leaving. Mails had become daUy
now, and the carrier picked up some additional
business by carrying express and passengers. He
would start within an hour for his route across the
Plat. Things surely did appear squalid and dis-
orderly around the station, thought Julia, as she
looked at the board shacks fringed with discarded
At the appointed time the stage drew up at the
post ofBce and took on the one mail b^. Tv
passengers— a man and a woman— were alreai
seated. Julia did not know the driver, but a.
made her wants known.
210 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
**A11 right, Miss, if you kin sit with the driver,
there's room; but I don't go by way of Piney
Ridge today. That's tomorrow's route."
'How near do you go?"
^Why, I turn oflE at the comer just where the
road crosses the Dry Holler— 'bout two miles, I
"That's near enough, for I can walk the rest
of the way; but my satchel is heavy."
'*I kin bring that tomorrow, if ye say."
So she left her baggage at the hotel and climbed
up by the driver. The mules trotted out, and
away they rattled. The driver was a talkative
fellow, so he soon had Julia's name and identity.
'*So you're old man Elston's daughter, be yef
Why, yes, I have heam tell of him. He's away
on a preachin' mission, I understand."
*'Yes," replied Julia, **but he's coming home
soon. * * There's been some changes since I
'*Well, I should think. The whole Flat is taken
up, and much of it is fenced. The road in many
places has been so changed that we have to make
long drives around the comers. I think it's a
darned shame, this fencin' up the road. But it's
the public be darned with these land speculators
—I beg your pardon, sir," said he turning to the
passenger on the rear seat, *'if you're one o'
The stranger denied being a speculator. He
agreed with the driver that the continual chang-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 211
ing of roads was a nuisance. He thought the
government should take over this question of
roads, and lay them out in such a way that they
would be the most convenient for the public,
regardless of what one or two land owners might
have to say. "As it is," said he, "the public is
required to go around the longest comers and to
cUmb over the rockiest hills to avoid trespassing
on private property."
While the two men discussed this and various
other questions, Julia listened and looked. Every-
where there were wire fences, and much of the
land was broken and cleared, i-eady for the fall
planting. Up near the hills they saw a party sur-
veying for the projected canal. There was much
more life on the Flat. But the sun was hot and
the road was dusty— more so than usual, Julia
Julia got off at the turn of the road and started
up a well known path towards Piney Ridge. Yes,
there was the half-dried creek bed, and the dug-
way on the other side, which, when she climbed,
brought her in full view of her home. The twelve
pines soared heavenward as of old. The cedars
and brush banked the hills with green. The
white house, cool and clean, shone out from the
midst of the oasis.
Julia was warm, so she to
sagebrush was covered with a
tation of dust, but there was
way. The grass was yellow.
212 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
among the sand,and the rabbits sprang across the
path. Would her pony be at home! Tomorrow
she would ride. Would the cows know herf
Julia laughed aloud at herself; but, oh, how good
to get out to the old home again, where every
green brush or dried fence-post suggested some
She had been expected, so her upper room had
been made ready. Julia with quick glance saw
that the renters had kept very well within their
agreement. The garden was still growing, al-
though somewhat wild. The vines had extended
their protection to the gables, the house itself
had been well kept. Julia threw open the door
to her room and stepped out on the railed plat-
form. There was the valley and the distant
mountains and the sun in the western sky. Very
little had changed that she could see from her
She ran out to the pasture and patted the cows.
Yes; her pony was still there. Then she visited
the spring and drank from its cool, bubbling
water. She remained outside until dark, and
then went in and had bread and milk with Mr.
and Mrs. Ross. She plied them with questions
regarding the old neighbors and the new, about
the school at Piney Ridge and at Thompson, and
they were pleased to tell her all they knew.
**And Glen Curtis,'' she asked, '*where is hef'
**0h, he's gone on a mission to the Nether-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 213
"When was that! ''
**He left about a week a^o. His farewell party
was held a week ago Friday. There was a big
crowd out, and he got nearly enough to take him
to his field of labor."
**I'm glad to hear it. I think I'll go up to my
room now— I'm tired out."
But she did not soon go to bed. The stars
were out in the clear sky. Julia drew a chair
outside the door and sat looking up and out into
the gray darkness. How still everything was!
What a change from the noisy city! What a rest
to weary heart, and tired brain I Would she be
able to sleep without the noise of street cars rat-
But she slept well and was up early for a walk
on the hills and to the graves. The trees were
growing well, though the grass was nearly gone.
Her mother's headstone needed cleaning. She
would attend to that soon. Old Thunder was
rough and element-scarred, but he had a warm
heart for soul-sick people.
The next letter Julia received from her father
was forwarded from Salt Lake City. It told of
his release. He would be home in a month. A
month now seemed a long time to wait. He
would surely call at Salt Lake first, where she
could meet him; but there was no hurry to leave.
School did not begin for two weeks, and she
might as well enjoy herself in the open until
then. On her pony she rode to the neighbors, vis-
214 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
ited with them and proved to them that a year in
the city had not spoiled her for her country
friends. Her light heart and laughter came back.
The boys hovered around, and there was a party
or two at which Julia was the honored guest.
"Well, Julia, when are you coming back to
teach our school?'' asked Brother Sanders when
she was visiting with them.
**I don't know; not for a long time. I have
just found out how little I know, and I'll have to
go to school a good many years myself first."
*'Yes; that's the way with the young folks
nowadays. When they get a taste o* education,
they're in for the hull thing. Well, I reckon I
don't blame ye if ye can get it/*
*'How did your school get along last year?'* she
**0h, fair, considerin'. The teacher wasn't
over strong in government, but we got through.
We haven't got a teacher yet f er next year. You'd
better come, Julia."
'*Why, Brother Sanders, I would teach the
children how to read without first drilling them
on the alphabet, and I would likely make some
more mud pies."
"Now, look here— tain* t no fair makin* fun like
that. I'm an ignorant man— don't know much
about book leamin' — but that little girl of mine
that you started to read can beat the older ones
already. The superintendent explained it all to
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 215
But Julia would not pi-omise to teach their
school, even though Brother Sanders held out the
inducements of a raise in salary and a greatly
improved school house, with permission to make
One day, about a week after her arrival, Julia
was returning: from a visit to Rock Creek. She
galloped slowly along the lower road towards
Piney Ridge, walked her pony around the point
of the mountain and then down the side hill into
the dry ravine, from which she would climb the
dugway. Suddenly, on the still afternoon air,
coming up the road from below, she heard
strange noises. She reined in her horse to listen-
They sounded like a rattling wagon and run-
ning horses and screams and cries piercing the
air. A cloud of dust came into sight down the
road, and presently she could diseema team gal-
loping towards her at break-neck speed, the
wagon plunging after. She pulled her horse out
of the road and watched. The driver— whom
Julia saw was the mail earriei^— had lost the lines
which were flying about the horses. He was
clinging to the front endgate, shouting in crazy,
drunken commands to the frightened team.
Crouching in the wagon and icrasping the bounc-
ing sides was a woman. Her hair, thin and gray,
had come down, and was flying aboi;
of death was in her face. Julia gav
tary scream as the runaway horses
following the road up the dugway!
216 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
What could she do? The mail driver and his
passenger would surely be killed! Julia imag-
ined the woman looked with mute, pleading eyes
at her as she was rushed past to apparent death.
There they were on the dugway I If the horses
would only keep the road they might slow down
before they reached the top, so that they could
be caught. Julia urged her horse after
the flying team. The wagon striking stumps
and rocks would bound into the air, then
sway from side to side. The driver still shouted
"Whoa, whoa!" but the woman's screams had
Up, up the horses plunged with very little
decreasing speed. Julia was now close behind.
Should she try to reach the horses to check
themt If she interfered they might swerve
either up the side hill or down the bank. Either
way would be disastrous.
Then a terrible thing happened. The reach of
the wagon broke. The hind wheels became
detached and let the rear of the wagon-box down
to the ground with a bang, throwing the clinging
woman into the road, where she lay motionless.
The running horses and the shouting teamster
clinging to the wagon-box disappeared over the
hill. On the top they became entangled in a
fence, and were eventually stopped.
Julia hurriedly dismounted and bent over the
woman, lifting her head into her arm. She
felt the pulse beating faintly, so she was assured
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 217
the woman was not dead. Julia brushed back
the hair from the death-like face. "Are you
hurt? Can you speak! Can you hear me?'' asked
the girl ; but there was no reply. The injured
woman lay limp and still wherever she was
What could be done! Could Julia carry her to
the house? She might die out there in the road
before help could come! Then she heard the
mail driver coming back. He limped painfully
and was covered with dust.
Is she dead!" he asked hoarsely.
'No ; I think not. If we could only get her to
our house. It isn't far. You will have to help
He was sober enough now. Staring into eter-
nity for ten minutes ought to sober any man. He
knelt down and listened for the heart beat. * *No ;
she isn't dead. Thank God/* he said.
He found a piece of canvas in the road and on
this they laid the woman. Then half carrying
and half dragging they advanced up the hill.
Now and then the woman moaned, at which they
would stop to rest. At the top of the hill the
man lifted her bodily and carried her in his
arms. **She is not heavy. Lead the way," he
The woman was placed on a bed, and Sister
Ross and Julia unloosed her clothing. They
found no bad bruises. They bathed her face with
cool water in hopes of reviving her, but she lay
218 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
unconscious i a faint moan now and then escap-
ing her lips.
"Where is the nearest doctor?'^ asked the mail
carrier. At Croft; but perhaps he ought to go to
one of the neighbors for help first. Mrs. Sims,
around the point of thjB mountain, was a good
woman in sickness. Mr. Boss, who had come in
from the yard, hurriedly hitched a horse to a
buggy and the mail driver was oflE.
Meanwhile,the young and inexperienced women
did what they thought best. They took the
woman's clothes oflE, sponged away the mud and
dust, and then waited. When Mrs. Sims arrived
she could not do much more. She said that,
perhaps the woman was injured inwardly. She
tried to revive her, but without avail.
The mail carrier hitched up his nmaway horses
to another wagon and was off to Croft. It would
be next morning, very likely, before a doctor
could be had, but that was the best they could do.
Mr. Ross went back on the road and picked up
the woman's satchel and hand bag which he
brought to the house. They examined hurriedly
the contents, but they found no clew as to the
woman's name. The driver had said she was
going to Piney Ridge Cottage, but she had said
no more. She had been very quiet, he said, but
he neglected to tell that he himself had enlivened
the way by much talk and drinking.
The night came on. Mrs. Sims went home, as
she could do no more. '* We'll watch her care-
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 219
fully, and do all we can for her," said Julia. The
lamp was lighted and shaded, shining dimly on
the thin, pale face restinsr on the pillow. Who
was this woman, and what could she want at
Piney Ridge Cottege? they asked each other.
"The driver was drunk and did not hear her
directions aright," suggested Mrs. Ross.
"No;" said her husband, "he wouldn't be
drunk when he started, and then is when she
would tell him her destination."
"Well, poor soul," said Julia, "if this is where
she wished to come, here she is."
With cooling water Julia bathed the face,
pressing the moisture gently to the parched lips.
What a dear, sweet face she had, though there
were deep lines of care marked on it. Tea, the
heart was still beating, stronger it seemed.
The evening passed. Julia told her friends to
goto bed and rest; she would sit up. There was
no need of more than one losing sleep. She would
call them if there was any change for the worse,
and at any rate early in the morning.
The night passed slowly for the watcher. With
open window the howling coyotes could plainly
be heard. These had never disturbed her, but
that night their yelping was dismal. Then Julia
tried to read, but that was a failure. Most of the
time she sat by the bed touchu
coolness the face and hands of the
and wondering how it would turn
Sometinie after midnight the
220 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
towards the light and opened her eyes. Julia
saw it and went hastily to the bed.
** Who— who are you?" asked the woman feebly.
Where am I?'*
*'You are in the house of friends," said Julia.
**Lie still. Will you have a drink?''
Julia fed her cool water with a spoon. * 'There,
do you feel better? You had a bad fall, but you
are better now."
'*Yes;'' she said, "better.'' The small hand
pushed back her hair from her forehead as if she
wished to clear her brain. The open eyes fol-
lowed Julia even when she left the bedside.
The patient wanted to raise her head, so Julia
gently pushed the pillow up.
"Who are you?" she again asked. *'I know
you— you are just like Agnes. You are Agnes."
"No; my name is Julia," said the girl. "It
isn't Agnes. But you hadn't better talk. Just
lie still and rest. When you are stronger, you
may tell me all about it."
She closed her eyes again, her hands holding
Julia's in a firm grasp. For fifteen or twenty
minutes they remained thus, then the woman
opened her eyes again. She looked at Julia and
Are you Julia Elston?" she asked.
Yes," said the sui-prised gu-1.
And you are Chester's girl. Do you know
where Chester is? I came to find him."
Julia in her astonishment arose and stood as
PINEF RIDGE COTTAGE
in a spell. "Are you Chester's mothert" she
"Yes; I want to find him— he basn't written
since he last left us. He said he was going to
Europe, but I thought he came here to you — "
she dropped off again. Julia knelt by the bed,
felt the hands, and stroked the face. This was
Chester's mother, her mother's old-time friend,
her father's one-time wife! • • * She was
sleeping now, and Julia still kneeled by the bed-
side and prayed both silently and vocally that
the Lord would spare her life "for a purpose, O,
Lord, Thou hast brought her here. Now spare
her life, that we may win her back by our love.
O Father, let her not die in darkness, unrepent-
ant. I, Agnes Winston's daughter, wtuit to do
something for this woman that my dear mother
was not permitted to do. O Father, let me—
help me, I pray Thee in the name of Jesus.
In the gray morning Mrs. Ross found them
both asleep, Julia with her head on the sick
woman's pillow, and their hands clasped in each
When the doctor arrived from Croft just before
noon, he found the injured woman resting as
well as could be expected. He pronounced her
out of immediate danger, but as she had received
some internal injuries, he could not say what the
result would eventually be. Julia explained to
the doctor and Mr. and Mrs. Ross that the
woman was an acquaintance of her father's from
the East in search of a son. That is all she told,
and Mrs. Lawrence said no more herself. The
doctor left in the middle of the afternoon.
Julia now became a nurse, carrying out the
doctor's instructions carefully. Knowing more
fully who her patient was, she put her whole soul
into her work. The poor woman had received a
terrible shaking up. She may never walk again,
so the doctor had told Julia. She was in search
of Chester, but she might never find him. He
was out of reach, it being possible that he was on
the other side of the earth. Not a word had been
heard of him for months.
Julia rested a little during the afternoon that
she might be with the sick woman at night.
The wild night noises might disturb her.
The woman obtained some relief from pain to-
wards evening and as her mind was clearer, she
PINET RIDGE COTTAGE 223
would talk to Julia and ply her with questions.
Julia answered what she thought wise, urging
her to remain as quiet as possible, and assuring
her tliat she was not an intruder, but a welcome
guest, and would be taken care of. Julia evaded
questions regarding her relationship with Chester.
In a few days, when Mrs. Lawrence became
fully aware that she was in the home of her
former husband and being nursed by a child of
Agnes Winston, she could hardly content her-
self to remain quietly in her bed. That she
should come to this— to be forced to be an object
of their charity was more than she could stand to
think about. Julia was kindness and gentleness
itself, and the woman's eyes could not remain
oS the 8^rl as she moved about the room, for it
seemed to her that here was Agnes Winston as
she looked and acted when she had first known
her at Altone. Yet she knew that Agnes had
been dead for years. At times when her brain
was not quite clear the mystery puzzled her
Then the woman asked Julia about her father.
She appeared pleased to know that he would not
be home for three weeks yet.
"I'll be well enough to get away by then,"
she said. 1 am sure he would be disnleftRAd t^
come home and find me here."
"I don't think so, mother," repli*
had b^run to call Mrs. Lawrence
patient did not object. In fact h<
224 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
with pleasure, when Julia thus addressed her.
**Father will be grieved to see you here in your
present condition. I am sure he would rather
have you here well and strong— which I hope you
will get after a while.''
This was a week after the accident. Mrs.
Lawrence could not sit up, but she rested easily
on her pillows and was strong enough to talk.
The afternoon sun came through the window and
lay as a bar of yellow gold across the room. The
soft mellowness of the Indian summer crept into
Piney Ridge Cottage, crept also into the heart of
a suffering woman.
Julia sat by the bed as Mrs. Lawrence liked to
have her do. They had talked of Chester and
Julia had told her more of him.
*'Yes,'' said the mother, "Chester is a good
boy. He is an improvement on his parents ; but
that is as it should be."
*'I suppose I am a failure then," said Julia,
"as I am sure I am not as good as my father and
"Don't say that. You are not the judge. I
think you are better than they — that is when
they were your age, and that is the only correct
way to look at it."
Julia protested gently, but did not argue the
case. It was time for her patient's afternoon
tea, so she busied herself with its making. She
had had to learn that, too. Tea had never before
been within Piney Ridge Cottage, therefore Julia
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 225
had never learned the worldly art of tea-making.
But now Mrs. Lawrence pronounced it good.
"Do you know, Julia," said the woman after
the tea andtoaet had been disposed 'of— "do you
know why you remind me so much of your
"1 look like her, I have been told."
"Yes, you do;lbut you act more like her. The
way you carry your head, the way you smile and
the very ring of your laugh is your mother's. 1
remember that so distinctly. We, you know,
were neighbors and we became great chums. 1
was a few years older, but that made no differ-
ence. We used to talk together for hours. • *
Most everybody thought she didn't amount to
much, as she was so quiet; but your mother was
a brave girl, I tell you. Once when two
tramps were helping themselves to melons in our
garden, and insultingly destroying it, Agnes
made believe she had a pistol and drove them
away. Did your father ever tell you of thatt"
"No, he never has."
"Well, I could tell you many things about her.
You do so bring me back to<those early days."
The days passed with very little improvement
in the injured woman. The doctor came every
other day, but Swhen out of the sick room he
shook his head. "Just take good care of her,"
he said; that is about all^e can do."
Julia wrote the news to the folks in Salt Lak
She said she could not leave Mrs. LawrenC'
226 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
She would have to delay her school beginnini
perhaps she would not be able to go at all. She
was going to take care of the injured woman first.
They were to tell her father when he came why
she was not in Salt Lake.
The days went Dy, growing shorter as the au-
tumn advanced. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were busy
with the harvesting, so that Julia was alone much
of the time with her patient. As we grow to
love those for whom we do good deeds, so Julia
became attached to this woman who had so
strangely come to be her care. And that Chester
Lawrence's mother, her father's former wife,
should thus come into her life was indeed
strange. Julia had often longed for a mother's
love, and now who was closer to her than Anna
Lawrence? On whom else could she bestow her
pent up love of mother I
And Anna Lawrence could not help but feel
the warm rays of this'girPs love. It penetrated
her hardened, self-chilled heart, and loosened
some of the obstinate purposes which she had
set in her life. Sometimes Julia would find her
with face to the wall to hide the tears. Then she
would put her arms around the sorrowing
woman, say nothing, but press her gently and
stroke the gray head.
Julia," said she one day, when they were alone,
I believe the doctor thinks I shall not get
Of course you'll get well, my dear mother."
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 2:^7
**I wouldn't care so much if I could see Ches-
ter first. I'd just as leave die here as not, for you
love me, I am sure, and I have so very few that
really love me — very few. * * * Come here,
my girl, I want to tell you something. ♦ ♦ *
Be faithful to your father and your religion; that
is true. I have known it aU the time-I have
been away. The testimony of its truth would
never leave me though I tried hard to make it
do so. I am so glad that Chester has found out
the truth. * * Tell him so from me, if I do not
get to see him; and tell him to be true to his
religion, though all else should fail him. * *
If I am to die, I wish I might do so before your
father comes— and yet I should like his forgive-
ness before I go.''
Julia could not repress her tears, as she tried
to reassure the sick woman that all would yet be
well with her.
"If you have done wrong," said the girl,
"father will be the fibrst to forgive— yes, I know.'*
He forgave me once — he might asrain."
Tes; until seventy times seven," replied
Julia. "And the Heavenly Father is good and
kind and forgiving.*'
Day by day the woman became weaker. In a
day or two Hugh Elston was expected home, and
he would have to hurry to find Anna Lawrence
alive. Everybody about Piney Ridge Cottage
moved without noise. The doctor came no
more. Julia became weak by long hours of
228 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
watching, but she would not give up her post to
kindly neighbors. The nights became cool. Soon
Old Thunder dressed himself in his robes of state,
in rich vestments of yellow and red. Snow fell
on his hoary head among the groves of dark
pines. At night Julia had to close the window
to keep out the cold and the noises of the
The father's coming was delayed. Julia re-
ceived a card from him stating that he had been
hindered, but within a week he would surely be
home. The days dragged by. The woman's
life seemed to flicker up and down like a flame.
"Will Chester never come?" she whispered; but
there was no word from him.
Hugh Elston rode out to Piney Ridge Cottage
with the mail carrier who had, partly at least,
been responsible for the accident. The return-
ing missionary had heard the news at Salt Lake,
but the driver gave him details. He drew near
his home with peculiar feelings. What joy to
get back to the wild,open country, to his home of
freedom among the mountains ! The driver went
out of his way that he might set his passenger
down in the dooryard. He could see that Mr.
Elston wag an elderly man, not too strong, and
he had a heiavy grip.
Julia flew to her father, while he was yet in the
yard. She saw he had aged considerably. Arm
in arm they entered the house.
"She is still alive,*' explained Julia, "but
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 229
it appears to me that she miprht die any minute.
I'll peep at her. * * She seems to be asleep.
If she could only see Chester — and you, she said
this afternoon she would be ready."
"Does she want to see me?" asked the father.
*'She didn't at first— she was afraid she would
not get well before you came ; but now she has
changed— she wants to see you."
"I will wash the dust oflE, then I will go in."
It was in the dusk of evening when Julia went
back to her post at the bedside. Mrs. Lawrence
was conscious and spoke to her.
*'Light the lamp," she whispered. "It is
Julia lighted the lamp and turned down the
"Turn it up," said the woman, "I want to see
him when he comes in."
"Yes; he has come. Do you want to see him
The door was pushed softly open, and
Mr. Elston entered. He went to the bed.
The dying woman lay on her back with
arms outside the coverlet. Her eyes were open
wide, and there was a faint smile on her lips.
The father kneeled by the bedside, took the
emaciated hands, and looked into the sunken
face. "Anna," he said.
230 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
Then the woman slowly raised her arm and
let it fall over his neck as if to draw him close so
that she could talk to him. He leaned over,
kissed her on the cheek, and then their heads
were close together. "Hugh, Hugh, I am so
glad!" Julia heard her say, and then she tiptoed
softly from the room.
Anna Lawrence lingered until the evening of
the next day, and then she passed away. Death
had once more come to Piney Eidge Cottage, and
to father and daughter it reawakened sad mem-
ories. Agnes and Anna were now in the Spirit
world. Had they met there and renewed their
friendship? Hugh Elston found pleasure in the
thought that they had. As for Anna, how
strange that she should come to him for the end !
Buffeted about for years on the ocean of storms,
she had at last come back to a safe harbor and
found a degree of peace and rest.
A telegram was sent to Chester, to his Chicago
address. Mr. Elston told Julia that he had
stopped off in Chicago to find if possible, Anna
Lawrence, and to call on her. His former wife,
of course, he had not seen, but he had met Ches-
ter and had had a pleasant visit with him.
The day passed with no reply from Chester;
the second day also, and then word came that
Chester could not be found ; arrangements were
therefore made for the funeral. Another grave
was prepared in the enclosure out in the sage-
PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE 231
brush near Piney Ridge Cottage. On the third
day services were held in the house. Marcie and
Rose Borden and Will Summerville came to the
funeral. The neighbors came to pay their respects
to the strange departed, knowing she was in some
way connected with Hugh Elston.
The visitors from Salt Lake remained a day
after the funeral, inspecting with deep interest
Piney Ridge and its cottage, of which they had
heard so much. Julia, seconded by her father,
urged them to remain longer. They would
climb Old Thunder, Julia said, if they would
stay, and even visit Chester Lawrence's gold
mine; but the city people were bound by city
business, and had to return to their daily round
of work. Next summer, the girls said, they
would surely spend their vacation with Julia in
her ''Country Villa.''
And Brother Summerville, too,** added Julia.
Yes," replied Rose, "Brother and Sister
Summerville will come to see that their harum
scarum sister Rose keeps out of mischief.''
This talk took place out by the wagon, just as
they were ready to drive oflE to Croft.
Yes; that's all right," said Mr. Elston,
you're all welcome. I want you to come
and get acquainted with the beauties of Piney
"We surely shall," the three shouted as they
232 PINEY EIDGE COTTAGE
The evening was very quiet in and around
Piney Ridge Cottage. Mr. and Mrs. Ross were
away for the night, and Julia and her father had
the house to themselves. As the evening was
cold, a cheerful fire of cedar sticks burned in the
grate. The two had supped royally on bread and
milk, and they were now sitting before the fire,
Julia on a low stool near her father's big chair.
"Yes, Julia," he was saying, "I am so glad you
did what you could for her, and that you served
her from pure love. She realized that, and told
me of it."
Father, it was a pleasure to do it."
Yes— and now you have missed your school
again. You want to go back, don't you?"
I should like to. I fairly srot started."
Well, my girl, this is what I have been think-
ing we would do: Mr. and Mrs. Ross will remain
here until spring, and we two will go to Salt
Lake, you to continue your schooling and I to
work in the Temple. While in England I found
a lot of names that belonged to our family, and 1
can do nothing better than to spend this winter
in doing work for them."
"Oh, father, that will be fine; for then we can
be together. We are lonesome when apart, are
"Yes; we are all we have now," said he as he
stroked the head leaning against his knee.
"Julia," he said after a pause, "I want to tell you
of my visit with Chester Lawrence in Chicago.
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 233
*'You ought to know how he feels and what he
said to me."
"I thought I ought to try to find his mother. I
had some difficulty in finding where she lived,
and this delayed me. At last I learned that Anna
had been living a somewhat isolated life, spend-
ing her time between a lonely Chicago home and
some relatives up in Michigan. I did not find
her at home. Some of her neighbors told me she
frequently spent weeks away from the house,
and I supposed she was with her Michigan peo-
ple. However, something drew me back to the
house the next day, and there I found Chester.
He had been roamine: about the country since he
left Salt Lake, and he, too, not finding his
mother at home, thought she was with her
'He must have been disappointed.''
1 suppose so, but he did not show it. He
seemed veiy much pleased to see me, and he
treated me very kindly. In his room that even-
ing he told me his story-and it was past mid-
night before we went to bed."
The father again stroked lovingly his daugh-
ter's head. She was silent, looking steadily into
* 'Julia," he continued, "Chester has no hard
feelings against you. He told me to tell you
that. He said you had a perfect right to answer
him the way you did, if your heart could not
234 PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE
accompany your hand. Your refusal was a ter-
rible trial to him, and it nearly upset him, but he
is in his right mind again, and I think he will
prove himself to be the right kind of stuff. He
told me he had wiitten you a letter, but he had
carried it around for days, hesitating whether or
not to mail it. He found me before he did so,
asked me to read it and bring it to you, if I saw
fit. Here it is." He handed Julia the letter.
She took it from the unsealed envelope and read
it by the light of the fire.
Dear Sister Julia :
After some weeks of wandering about the
country, 1 now feel capable of sending you a few
lines to tell you that I am alive and well and still
true to the faith. Even though you could not
grant me the greatest wish of my heart, I must be
satisfied with what you have done for me — and I
now see that through you the Lord has been
exceedingly kind to me. It was you who first
called my attention to the restored Gospel with
its wonderful possibilities ; it was you who turned
my life from blind prejudice to one of ever
increasing light and love. Through you the
broken link is again welded. I am my mother's
only child and I shall try co close the breach that
she, by her mistake, made. God bless you and
your dear father. Remember me to all the good
Feople in the ward. I have the roving spirit, and
do not know where it will lead me, but this I
feel assured, that the good angel of life in the
form of the High Ideals which Julia Elston has
given to me, shall always and ever direct my
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 235
The letter dropped to the reader's lap, and
there was silence for some time. Then Julia said:
**Father, what am I — what have I done that
Chester should say such things to me?"
*'My girl, the little things of life, the simple,
every day duties often become the great moving
forces of the world. This is merely an incident in
proof. I am very,very glad for what Chester said
because it is the truth; and his joy will increase
when he learns how his mother felt during her
last days, and what you, my girl, did for her."
Julia got up from her seat, stirred the fire, and
placed on it some more wood. Then she seated
herself on the arm of her father's big chair. "Do
you wish to read, father?" she asked. "Shall I
light the lamp!"
"No; I just want to talk to you this evening.
* * When did you last hear from Glenf "
"I got a letter from him just before you came,
wheiein he told me of his visit to London and his
meeting with you."
"Yes; we had a fine conference— and Glen is
making a splendid missionary. He told me of
his experience in Holland, and he asked me,
Julia, in his timid way, of you. He said you had
not written to him.''
"Father, I am ashamed of myself; but I
haven't been in a frame of mind to write lately.
He'll never forgive me." Then Julia told of
Glen's visit to Salt Lake, just before leaving for
his mission, and how he had missed her.
236 PINEY KIDaE COTTAGE
"Glen is a sensitive boy," said the father. He
would never go where he supposed he was intrud-
ing, even if it broke his heart to remain away. I
talked to him freely of you, as it seemed to do
him good. * * * Did he never tell you that
he loved you f"
Julia told what happened at her father's fare-
well party. They lapsed into silence again.
"How long do you want to go to school?" asked
"Two or three years, and maybe longer."
"Then I want to come back to Piney Eidge
Cottage and live with you."
"Well, Julia, you shall live here with me as
long as you wish, and Piney Ridge Cottage shall
be yours when I am gone. Live here in God's
great open country. Bring to you as many as
possible of the comforts of the city; and then
with cultured heart and soul, and trained mind
wherewith to lay hold of nature in its wildness
and beauty, you may live as nearly the perfect
human life as is possible — you and your husband
and your children."
"Yes, my girl, I am sure you will have both
husband and children." His hands were once
more on the shapely head— the hands of a patri-
arch giving a father's blessing. "You have fol-
lowed the light, and that light will still illume
PINEY RIDGE COTTAGE 237
your way, make your path clear. * * * Your
children's children will call you blessed."
"Yes, my girl.''
"May I tell youf Recently it has been so
strange, and especially since I got that letter
from Glen. * * * *i believe that the Lord has
released from His keeping the love of my heart.
* * * Oh, father, I cannot describe my feeling,
my happy feeling. The light is clear and beauti-
ful, free from shadows."
Yes, dear, and in what direction does it lief'
Out across the ocean to a land of shining
canals and slow-moving windmills. There is light
everywhere there, when I think of Glen, and —
and he stands out in it so good and true and
She slipped from the arm of the chair on which
she had been sitting,and her father clasped her in
his arms. She nestled close to him as if to hide
her trembling confusion. He patted her cheek,
now rosy red, stroked her hair— and smiled. The
glow of the fire fell on father and daughter as
they sat enwrapped in each other's love and
■f. 'fl- '■ c